The Supervisory Attentional System ( Sas ) Is Affected By Sleep Deprivation

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Supervisory attentional system: a loosely defined collection of brain processes that are responsible for planning, cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition, initiating appropriate actions and inhibiting inappropriate actions, and selecting relevant sensory information. (Cognitive Atlas, 2010)
This article sets out to determine whether the entire Supervisory Attentional System (SAS) is affected by sleep deprivation, meaning the system as a whole is self-contained, or if it is only specific processes that are affected, indicating the executive functions could be “potentially independent processes.” (Jennings, Monk, van der Molen, 2003)
The authors, J.R. Jennings, T.H. Monk and M.W. Van der Molen began this experiment with two hypotheses: “that sleep deprivation might alter all processes of supervisory attention assessed in the paradigm and that sleep deprivation might have a specific effect on one of the following processes: (a) the ability to inhibit or suppress a prepotent response or response mapping (i.e., the inhibitory control of action), (b) the efficiency of shifting between different tasks (i.e., the ability to form a task set), and (c) the ability to adopt a strategic preparatory set (i.e., processes transiently establishing a preparatory set).” The definition of ‘prepotent response’ is as follows: having priority over other response tendencies especially by virtue of maturational primacy, recentness of emission or evocation, repetition with…

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