Publication

Sleep restriction in rats leads to changes in operant behaviour indicative of reduced prefrontal cortex function

Kamphuis, J., Baichel, S., Lancel, M., De Boer, S. F., Koolhaas, J. M. & Meerlo, P., Feb-2017, In : Journal of Sleep Research. 26, 1, p. 5-13 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Copy link to clipboard

Documents

  • Sleep restriction in rats leads to changes in operant behaviour indicative of reduced prefrontal cortex function

    Final publisher's version, 277 KB, PDF document

    Request copy

DOI

Sleep deprivation has profound effects on cognitive performance, and some of these effects may be mediated by impaired prefrontal cortex function. In search of an animal model to investigate this relationship we studied the influence of restricted sleep on operant conditioning in rats, particularly the performance in a differential reinforcement of low rate responding (DRL) task, which is highly dependent upon an intact prefrontal cortex. Animals were trained to withhold a lever press until an imposed delay of 30 s after the last press had passed in order to achieve a food reward. Once the animals had mastered the task, they were sleeprestricted for 7 days with 20 h of sleep deprivation per day. At the end of each daily sleep deprivation session, performance on the DRL task was assessed. The results show that sleep-restricted animals were less able to time their responses correctly, started pressing the lever more randomly and showed signs of behavioural disinhibition, the latter possibly reflecting enhanced impulsivity. Our data support the hypothesis that a sleep debt has disruptive consequences for the functioning of the prefrontal cortex. This model offers possibilities for future studies investigating the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms of this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Volume26
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2017

    Keywords

  • behavioural control, brain function, DRL task, operant conditioning behaviour, sleep disturbance, restricted sleep, COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE, DEPRIVATION, DEPRESSION, PLASTICITY, BRAIN, SCHIZOPHRENIA, VULNERABILITY, DISTURBANCES, IMPAIRMENTS, HIPPOCAMPUS

ID: 35564808