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Consolidation of learning during sleep in children and adults

Thomas, Sophie (2008) Consolidation of learning during sleep in children and adults. DClinPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis begins with a literature review investigating the relationship between childhood medical conditions related to sleep disturbance and cognitive impairment. Three categories of medical conditions associated with sleep disturbance and cognitive problems are identified: Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB), Primary Sleep Disorders and Childhood Epilepsies. Findings suggest widespread evidence of a relationship between cognitive problems in SDB and childhood epilepsies. Potential mechanisms for these associations include the relatively recent theory that consolidation of learning (CoL) taking place during sleep may be disrupted. Evidence that CoL occurs during sleep is mainly restricted to adult populations. This study aimed to replicate this research with both a sample of adults and a sample of children. Measures of CoL were adapted for children, and performance improvements overnight (CoL-N) were compared with those over an equivalent daytime period (CoL-D). Measures of IQ and self-reported sleep quality were included. Differences between CoL-N and CoL-D were not significant in either sample. However, post-hoc explorations revealed interesting observations regarding the modified measures and these will be informative to future research. The possibility of an association between sleep latency in adults and bedtime difficulties in children is also raised. Future research is recommended to increase understanding of CoL as this may have important implications for children at risk of learning disorders associated with sleep disruption. The thesis concludes with a critical appraisal addressing professional learning, methodological limitations and implications for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.444973
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 13 May 2013 15:45
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3615

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