Circadian misalignment impairs ability to suppress visual distractions

Resource type
Date created
2019-10-15
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Evening-type individuals often perform poorly in the morning because of a mismatch between internal circadian time and external social time, a condition recognized as social jetlag. Performance impairments near the morning circadian (~24h) trough have been attributed to deficits in attention, but the nature of the impairment is unknown. Using electrophysiological indices of attentional selection (N2pc) and suppression (P<sub>D</sub>) we show that evening-type individuals have a specific disability in suppressing irrelevant visual distractions. More specifically, evening-type individuals managed to suppress a salient distractor in an afternoon testing session, as evidenced by a P<sub>D</sub>, but were less able to suppress the distractor in a morning testing session, as evidenced by an attenuated P<sub>D</sub> and a concomitant distractor-elicited N2pc. Morning chronotypes, who were well past their circadian trough at the time of testing, did not show this deficit at either test time. These results indicate that failure to filter out irrelevant stimuli at an early stage of perceptual processing contributes to impaired cognitive functioning at non-optimal times of day, and may underlie real-world performance impairments, such as distracted driving, that have been associated with circadian mismatch.
Document
Identifier
DOI: 10.1111/psyp.13485
Publication details
Publication title
Psychophysiology
Document title
Circadian misalignment impairs ability to suppress visual distractions
Date
2020-01-24
Volume
57
Issue
2
First page
e13485
Publisher DOI
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s) with limited rights held by the publisher of the final publication.
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Member of collection