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Memory and Its Late Night Gaming Connection

by on July 29, 2014
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memory

If you are like most gamers, memory is the last thing on your mind when you skimp on a few hours of sleep to beat a certain level, section, or boss in a video game.  It’s no secret that short-term memory loss is affected by lack of sleep, but what about false memories?

Psychological Science has posted a study about false memories linked to sleep deprivation. Stephen J. Frenda, the lead researcher, had already done work on false memory formation on five hours or less.  This study went a step further.

One hundred and four college-age participants were separated into four groups.  One group was given a set of photos to memorize and allowed to sleep, while another group was given the photos but did not sleep.  The third group was given the memory test after a night’s rest and the fourth group did the same after staying up all night.  Instead of a normal memory test, this was one based on misinformation.  The photos were one part and narrative followed the next which had information about the photos that was not correct.

Memory Results

memory

What the researchers found was that those who had stayed up all night before being given the information could not untangle the details given in the narrative from what the photos actually were.  Those who looked at the photos before staying up all night were on par with their more rested peers.

So what are the implications for this study?  For those who need to be able to recall information accurately for school, work, or anything else, staying up late after the fact to play games or participate in other activities will severely hamper the accuracy of your memories.  If you have already been sleep deprived, the short-term memory problems will come into play instead of the false ones.  The summer allows many to sleep in after playing through the night, but the risk of mixing up information from textbooks or in other matters at work mean sleep is a necessity for functioning memories.  Short-term issues were bad enough, but false memories are a double whammy. Make sure to get your eight hours or so of sleep to be at your best in gaming, health, and whatever else you may need to do.

By: Kyle Swain

 Edited by: Avery Osborn

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