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Investigating Striatal Attentional Circuits to Understand and Mitigate Deficits in Cognitive Flexibility Due to Sleep Loss

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Technical Report,15 May 2018,14 May 2019

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Washington State University Spokane United States

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Sleep loss compromises specific cognitive abilities that are both critical to real-world performance and dissociable from impairments in vigilant attention. Specifically, sleep loss impairs cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to adapt to changing events and environmental contingencies. We hypothesize that sleep loss-induced adenosinergic disruption of striatal dopaminergic circuits explains reduced attentional flexibility. We aim to identify dopaminergic and adenosinergic neural circuits responsible for sleep loss-induced deficits in cognitive flexibility using transgenic rats and optogenetic techniques, and performance measures that parallel task requirements for human cognitive flexibility. We seek to obtain converging evidence for the role of these circuits in humans by analyzing genotype differences in the effectiveness of wake-promoting agents during sleep deprivation. Year 1 of this ongoing project has focused on obtaining the necessary approvals for animal and human subject data collection WSU IACUCIRB, DoD ACUROHRPO, NMRU-D IRB. Equipment for the animal studies has been obtained and tested. Cognitive testing procedures for the transgenic rats have been developed, and a breeding colony has been established. Procedures for the human study have been developed as well.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology

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