for people ages 18-75 (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
at San Diego, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Robert L. Owens
Headshot of Robert L. Owens
Robert L. Owens



Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an extremely common disease with inadequately explored neurocognitive consequences. The investigators will study OSA patients before and after treatment to understand how OSA changes decision making abilities, and whether treatment can reverse such cognitive changes. These results could provide deeper insight into how OSA affects decision making either temporarily or permanently, and provide another rationale or motivation for treatment of OSA in adults.


The investigators hypothesize that OSA will lead to (H1) more reward-seeking and lower payoffs in the Iowa Gambling task, replicating previous findings; (H2) greater discounting of future rewards in financial choices; and (H3) these effects would dissipate when OSA is successfully treated.

In order to test these hypotheses, the investigators will perform cognitive tests (Iowa gambling; intertemporal choice; other measures) in 100 patients about to undergo sleep testing. It is expected that of these 100 patients, some will have no sleep apnea; some will have sleep apnea and will be successfully treated; and that some will have sleep apnea but will not be successfully treated by the time of repeat testing. The investigators will repeat testing using the same instruments 2 months later.

Thus the investigators will be able to compare whether OSA patients differ from control at baseline (t1), and whether OSA patients' performance will improve after treatment at t2, compared to the control at t2.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Apnea, Sleep Apnea Syndromes, Computer based neurocognitive testing


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-75

Subjects aged 18-75 referred to the UCSD Sleep clinic for either home or in-laboratory testing will be considered for inclusion in the study. Inclusion will not depend on gender, race or ethnicity, as per the following:

  1. 100 participants will be enrolled at the UCSD Sleep Clinic at Chancellor Park.
  2. Ages 18-75
  3. Gender: Men and woman
  4. Ethnic background: All
  5. Health Status: to the UCSD Sleep clinic for either home or in-laboratory testing

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Ongoing CPAP treatment for OSA
  2. Inability to use a tablet device (e.g. no reading glasses, or unfamiliar with devices).
  3. Severe cardiopulmonary disorder that requires treatment with supplemental oxygen therapy.
  4. Inability to speak English fluently, as some of the questionnaires/tests are only validated in English.


  • University of California, San Diego
    San Diego California 92093 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Robert L. Owens
    Professor, Medicine, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 138 research publications


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
About 96 people participating
Last Updated