Auditory Evoked Potentials: the Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Recovery Time For the P300

Date of Graduation

Spring 2002


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Thomas Franklin


Auditory Evoked Potentials (AEP) have been used as an objective measure of estimating hearing sensitivity and studying the integrity of the auditory neural pathways. The P300 is an endogenous AEP response that requires the subject to cognitively process the auditory signal in order to get a response. The P300 is thought to reflect neuroelectric activity related to cognitive processes such as attention and memory. Previous studies have provided evidence that the P300 response can be negatively affected by sleep deprivation revealing a slowing of cognitive processing following these adverse conditions. There has been limited research on how much recovery time is needed before these cognitive processes return to normal levels following 24 hours of sleep deprivation. During this study, an "odd-ball paradigm" was used to elicit the P300 response following 24 hours of sleep deprivation and then again following rest periods of 30 and 60 minutes, after which these measures were compared to individual baseline measures. The subjects used were 23 SMSU undergraduate students between 21-30 years of age. Each subject was deprived of sleep for a period of 24 hours in a controlled environment and then underwent a series of P300 tests following the depriviation and again following a rest period. Contaminants known to affect P300 measures were also accounted for. Processing delays were noted following the sleep deprivation period. This study has provided more evidence to support the research that sleep deprivation does affect cognition adversely and also has obtained some preliminary research on the amount of rest needed to recover from these adverse effects. This research will be valuable in measuring and evaluating cognitive function in individuals under sleep deprivation conditions.

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Brandon Tourtillott