Cognition, Behavior, and Memory
Author: Matias Bonilla | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matias Bonilla 1°, Facundo A Urreta Benitez 1°, Candela S León 1°, Camila Scheinsohn 1°, Zahira A Jimenez 1°, Camila Scrofani 1°, Julia Adba 1°, Cristian D García Bauza 4°, Cecilia Forcato 1°
1° Laboratorio de Sueño y Memoria, Departamento de Ciencias de la Vida, Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2° Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
3° Innocence Project Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
4° PLADEMA, Universidad Nacional del Centro, Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Approximately, 70% of erroneous convictions in the USA are attributed to flawed facial identifications. Recently, it has been observed that a period of sleep before facial recognition reduces the misidentification of innocent individuals when the perpetrator is absent from the lineup. However, a similar study did not show distinctions between sleeping and non-sleeping groups. Notably, neither of these studies objectively measured sleep. Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) plays a fundamental role in maintaining the synaptic homeostasis in the brain. SWS prevents the oversaturation of synaptic strength that occurs during wakefulness, enabling the encoding of new information upon waking. Hence, this study aimed to examine the role of sleep in memory discrimination during a lineup. Participants watched a video depicting a criminal act on day 1 and were immediately tested for free recall of the event. On day 2, half of the participants slept for 40 min while undergoing polysomnography, while the other half remained awake. Subsequently, they underwent facial recognition in a lineup and were evaluated for their recall of the event. Preliminary data suggests a trend indicating that a short nap before the lineup can increase correct recognitions in the lineup when the perpetrator is present. This study has the potential to revolutionize the judicial process by utilizing our understanding of sleeps role in memory to enhance the accuracy of facial recognition within the legal system.