Sleep-dependent Learning in Aging

  • End date
    Jul 15, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Updated on 23 January 2021


The specific objective of this proposed research is to understand whether deficits in sleep-dependent memory changes reflect age-related changes in sleep, memory, or both. The central hypothesis is that changes in both memory and sleep contribute to age-related changes in sleep-dependent memory processing. To this end, the investigators will investigate changes in learning following intervals of sleep (overnight and nap) and wake in young and older adults.


Exp 1: Using neuroimaging, the investigators will consider whether differences in brain areas engaged during memory encoding contribute to age-related changes in sleep-dependent memory consolidation for a word-pair learning task.

Exp 2: The investigators will examine the rate of memory decay between encoding and sleep using two probes of declarative memory (word-pair learning and visuo-spatial learning).

Exp 3: The investigators will provide additional opportunity for encoding of the word-pair and visuo-spatial learning tasks.

Exp 4: Using neuroimaging, the investigators will examine neural engagement during encoding and performance following intervals of sleep and wake.

Exp 5: The investigators will examine the rate of decay of motor sequence learning.

Exp 6: The investigators will examine whether enhanced training ('overtraining') improves sleep-dependent memory consolidation for older adults.

Condition Sleep
Treatment sleep
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03840083
SponsorUniversity of Massachusetts, Amherst
Last Modified on23 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 18-75 yrs
Healthy sleeper
No diagnosed sleep or neurodegenerative disorder

Exclusion Criteria

Past diagnosis of any sleep disorder or evidence of a sleep disorder as assessed by self-reported sleep quality assessments, a standardized diagnostic interview, and an acclimation night of polysomnography. Using acclimation-night polysomnography, participants will be excluded with an Apnea-Hypopnea Index >15; a Period-Limb Movement in Sleep index of >15/hr; sleep-onset latency > 45 min (indicative of insomnia); or sleep efficiency < 80% (see Edinger et al., Sleep, 2004). In cases in which questions arise regarding a participants' inclusion or sleep records, a practicing neurologist board-certified in sleep medicine will review the documentation
Past diagnosis neurological illness or head injury
Reported average sleep per night < 5 or > 9 hrs
Current employment involving shift work or an inability to keep a regular sleep schedule during the week prior to testing
Current use of psychotropic, recreational drugs, or sleep-altering medications (sleep medications, cold medicines within the past week, clonidine, sympathomimetic stimulants)
Daily caffeine intake of > 4 cups (coffee, tea, colas)
Weekly alcohol intake of > 10 cups
Pregnancy or < 12 months post-partum
History of bipolar disorder, mania, or current evidence of depression as measured by Beck Depression Inventory score > 25
Abnormal sleep (e.g., shift work, travel across >2 time zones within the past 3 months)
Diagnosis of any Axis I disorder, neurological illness or head injury (according to Demographic and Health History form)
Score indicative of cognitive dysfunction (subtest scores < 40)
Beck Depression Scale score indicative of depression (> 19)
Additionally, individuals will be excluded from magnetic resonance imaging
studies (Exps 1, 4) for
Left handed or ambidextrous
Presence of metal (thoroughly screened via questionnaire and metal detector)
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note