Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

January 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Mark McDaniel


Laboratory-based prospective memory tasks have rarely examined the effect of retention interval on later remembering. In the current study, participants had to remember to perform an intended action: press Q in response to a target cue) after a short delay: approximately 20 min), a 12-hr sleep delay, or a 12-hr wake delay. The results demonstrated a large decline in prospective memory performance after a 12-hr wake delay: relative to the short delay condition). Interestingly, prospective remembering was not only better following a 12-hr sleep delay than a 12-hr wake delay but performance in this condition did not differ significantly from performance in the short delay condition. Cost analyses: i.e., ongoing task performance decline associated with embedding a prospective memory task) demonstrated that spontaneous retrieval processes primarily supported prospective remembering. These results are discussed in relation to theories of prospective memory retrieval and sleep-dependent memory consolidation.


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