Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Adam L. Lawson

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Rosanne B. Lorden

Department Affiliation


Third Advisor

Catherine A. Clement

Department Affiliation



Previous research has repeatedly illustrated the beneficial influence of sleep on memory processes. Further, evidence has demonstrated the power of sexual valance to enhance memory for certain types of stimuli. The present study investigated the possible interaction effect between sleep and sexual valance on recollection memory in 44 undergraduate and graduate student participants at Eastern Kentucky University, based upon a method by Alger, Lau, & Fishbein (2012); however, in the current study, recollection memory items were words received audibly rather than visually. Behavioral data, electroencephalography (EEG), and skin conductance data was collected to assess memory performance, sleep progress, autonomic nervous system activity, and sleep-related behavior. Results indicated a significant interaction effect between condition (sleep/awake) and image type (sexual/nonsexual): words paired with sexual images were best recalled by sleep participants, while awake participants recalled nonsexual images better than sexual images.