Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Hideo Suzuki

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor Hideo Suzuki. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright © Anna Klets


College students often have poor sleep quality, which may change resting state functional connectivity network in the brain. Prior research demonstrated that sleep is associated with structural and functional changes in some specific brain subareas, which are involved in the dorsal default mode network (dDMN). However, no study to date has comprehensively examined all possible individual pairs of functional connectivity in the dDMN in relation to sleep quality among college students. Therefore, the present study hypothesized that sleep quality in college students was linked to any resting state functional connectivity in the dDMN.

Forty nine college students (25 females) underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The resting state functional MRI data were acquired. In addition, participants were asked about their sleep quality using the Quick Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS). Time-series functional connectivity values between nine subareas of the dDMN were preprocessed and extracted by AFNI. The relationships between these functional connectivity values and sleep quality were then analyzed using Spearman's correlations.

The results of this study demonstrated that sleep quality was negatively correlated with functional connectivity between the right hippocampus and the thalamus (rho(47) = -0.40, p < .05) and between the right hippocampus and the left angular gyrus (rho(47) = -0.39, p < .05). The present study found that college students with poor sleep quality had negative functional hippocampal connectivity with the thalamus and the left angular gyrus. Cognitive and emotional implications for these findings were discussed.

Advisor: Hideo Suzuki