The aim of the present study was to deepen knowledge about the effect of a lowered vigilance state on time-based prospective memory (TBPM) performance. For this purpose 2 TBPM tasks (primary and interpolated), which shared a portion of the retention interval, and 3 reasoning tasks, as ongoing activities, were administered after total sleep deprivation and in a regular sleep condition. The results showed a detrimental effect of sleep deprivation on prospective memory performance and a partial dissociation between clock-checking behavior and time estimation for prospective compliance. This study clearly indicates that total sleep deprivation impairs the ability to complete multiple prospective task assignments in a timely fashion. Results are discussed suggesting the existence of different mechanisms involved in time monitoring and other cognitive functions underlying TBPM performance.

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