• Question: Hi, what has been your most successful experiment and what did it entail

    Asked by duke494hen to Emma S on 11 Dec 2023.
    • Photo: Emma Sullivan

      Emma Sullivan answered on 11 Dec 2023:

      I think my most successful experiment was my study where I looked at whether sleep deprivation (vs a night of sleep) made people more anxious when they were in a virtual reality emotional environment. In this study participants either stayed awake all night or slept in the sleep laboratory and then the next morning they experienced a VR world that was designed to make them feel uneasy and anxious. Whilst they were in this world we measured participants skin sweat response and heart rate as measures of anxiety. We found that those who were sleep-deprived had a higher skin sweat response compared to those who had a night of sleep during the parts of the VR world that were designed to increase anxiety, and this remained high throughout the VR world. This suggests that sleep deprivation increased next-day anxiety responses.