MORE | Spring 2021

The Effect of Sleep Deprivation on the Startle Response

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The reticulospinal system of the brain is responsible for learning motor skills. As humans age, the quality and quantity of sleep continually decreases leading to memory and learning deficits. In this crossover study, delays in the reticulospinal system of sleep-deprived participants will be determined through the startle reflex. Electromyography (EMG) muscle onsets of sternocleidomastoids are used to quantify reticulospinal delays following a loud 120-decibel startle noise. Participants’ muscle onsets and startle probability are compared when sleep deprived and rested through a mixed linear effect model.

Student researcher

Alexander Beich Crawley

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Normal, Illinois, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021