A new research paper published in the Journal of Sleep Research claims that attentional control is partially impaired in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.
“In the current study, we investigated whether attentional control is deficient in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Attentional control processes were investigated through conflict adaptation and conflict frequency paradigms. These neuropsychological paradigms were assessed by using the Simon, Flanker and Stroop tasks. We additionally analysed post-error slowing data within these tasks. Error processing is another index of cognitive control that is mediated by frontal lobe functioning.”
The sample consisted of 14 healthy adults and 24 patients with untreated moderate–severe obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.
“Results indicated that attentional control is partially dysfunctional among patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Attentional control processes were deficient when focal attention (Flanker task) processes were involved, but were intact when observed using the Simon and Stroop tasks. A non-significant trend in post-error slowing data suggested that error processing, assessed with the Flanker task, was diminished among patients with obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. These results support the view that obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome leads to some amount of frontal lobe dysfunction, and that attentional control and error processing might be particularly affected by obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.”