Memory is the relative permanent change in behavior based on experience. Many factors influence the formation of memories, one of which is sleep. Memories are strengthened during the NREM sleep cycle through a process called sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Sleep deprivation (SD) causes the improper formation of memories during sleep. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is responsible for memory consolidation during sleep during the slow-wave sleep (SWS), a stage of the NREM cycle. Deficits in the PFC create problems with memory consolidation during sleep. Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder commonly have problems with their PFC and also have problems with proper sleep-dependent memory consolidation. In the current study, the effects of sleep deprivation on learning and memory were studied using the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat Stroke Prone (SHRSP) model for human AD/HD. The rat’s recognition memory was tested using the Novel Object Recognition Test following 24h of regular sleep or SD. The measure of memory, time spent exploring the novel object versus the familiar object, was not significantly different meaning that none of the rats had a memory of the familiar object. No meaningful conclusions could be drawn because neither of the control conditions exhibited memory. Future work should look to improve upon the methods used in the current study to continue to study the effects of SD on learning and memory.


Kelly, Seth




Behavioral Neurobiology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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