Sleep loss, executive function, and decision-making

Brieann C. Satterfield, William D.S. Killgore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Sleep loss is common in today’s society, and while most individuals have experienced sleep loss, few recognize the negative consequences sleep loss has on cognitive functioning. There is a general consensus that sleep loss results in decreased attention, vigilance, and alertness. While some believe that impaired vigilant attention is the underlying cause of performance decrement across all domains, new evidence suggests that this may not actually be the case. In fact, sleep loss does not appear to affect cognitive processes in a global manner. Rather, insufficient sleep differentially impacts various components of cognitive functioning. In this chapter, we will discuss how sleep loss impacts a variety of cognitive domains, including vigilant attention, working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive control, problem solving, risk-taking, judgment, and decision-making. In doing so, we will also discuss the common tasks used to test these specific domains and the neural mechanisms thought to mediate task-specific performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSleep and Health
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128153734
ISBN (Print)9780128153741
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive control
  • Decision-making
  • Executive function
  • Risk-taking
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Vigilance
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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