Preferred Name

Morgan Crewe

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Jeff Dyche

Daniel D. Holt

Jeanne Horst


The relation between chronic sleep restriction and performance on the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) have been well documented in the human literature, with chronic sleep restriction as little as 7 hours per night resulting in significant impairment in sustained attention performance measured via the PVT. Recently, an analogous version of the human PVT has been developed for use with rodent models (rPVT). Recent studies have measured the effects of sleep restriction on rPVT performance, citing similar results found in the human literature. However, few studies to date have directly examined the role of adenosine accumulation during sleep deprivation in producing deficits in rPVT performance. The purpose of the current study was to extend previous rPVT research to include two adenosine antagonists as potential countermeasures for the effects of sleep restriction on rPVT performance in Sprague Dawley rats. After meeting baseline criterion, animals experienced two conditions for four days each: 6hr/day sleep restriction and 6hr/day sleep restriction followed by i.p. administration of an adenosine antagonist. Half of the animals received 30mg/kg caffeine, a non-selective adenosine antagonist, and half of the animals received 3mg/kg CPT, an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist. Performance on the rPVT was measured daily at 15:00. Mixed ANOVAs were conducted to analyze the effects of each condition on rPVT performance. No significant differences were found. Six hours per day of sleep restriction or administration of either adenosine antagonist had no effect on rPVT performance. Subsequently, a small group of animals underwent an additional 18hr/day sleep restriction condition. Visual analysis of this data showed that 18hr/day of sleep restriction had no effect on rPVT performance. The results of this study contradict previous studies using the rPVT, including a pilot study conducted in our lab. Potential explanations for these contradictory results are discussed, highlighting the potential for strain differences in rPVT performance and response to sleep restriction. Future research should seek to explore the effects of sleep restriction on rPVT performance across rat strains. Additionally, the role of adenosine accumulation during sleep deprivation in producing deficits in rPVT performance is still not well understood, and requires further investigation.



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