Decreased prefrontal connectivity parallels cognitive fatigue-related performance decline after sleep deprivation. An optical imaging study.

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Decreased prefrontal connectivity parallels cognitive fatigue-related performance decline after sleep deprivation. An optical imaging study.

Biol Psychol. 2019 Mar 28;:

Authors: Borragán G, Guerrero-Mosquera C, Guillaume C, Slama H, Peigneux P

Abstract
Fatigue induced by sustained cognitive demands often entails decreased behavioural performance and the unavailability of brain resources, either due to reduced levels or impaired access. In the present study, we investigated the neural dynamics underlying preserved behavioural performance after inducing cognitive fatigue (CF) in a sleep deprivation (SD) condition in which resources are naturally compromised. Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we recorded cortical brain activity during task-related CF induction in the evening, in the middle of the night and early in the morning. Although cortical oxygenation similarly increased over the 3 sessions, decreased intra-hemispheric connectivity between left anterior frontal and frontal areas paralleled a sudden drop in task performance in the early morning. Our data indicate that decreased sustained attention after the induction of cognitive fatigue in a situation of high sleep pressure results from impaired connectivity between left prefrontal cortical areas rather than from a mere modulation in brain resources.

PMID: 30930071 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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