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Nettersheim, A.* ; Hallschmid, M. ; Born, J. ; Diekelmann, S.*

The role of sleep in motor sequence consolidation: Stabilization rather than enhancement.

J. Neurosci. 35, 6696-6702 (2015)
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Sleep supports the consolidation of motor sequence memories, yet it remains unclear whether sleep stabilizes or actually enhances motor sequence performance. Here we assessed the time course of motor memory consolidation in humans, taking early boosts in performance into account and varying the time between training and sleep. Two groups of subjects, each participating in a short wake condition and a longer sleep condition, were trained on the sequential finger-tapping task in the evening and were tested (1) after wake intervals of either 30 min or 4 h and (2) after a night of sleep that ensued either 30 min or 4 h after training. The results show an early boost in performance 30 min after training and a subsequent decay across the 4 h wake interval. When sleep followed 30 min after training, post-sleep performance was stabilized at the early boost level. Sleep at 4 h after training restored performance to the early boost level, such that, 12 h after training, performance was comparable regardless of whether sleep occurred 30 min or 4 h after training. These findings indicate that sleep does not enhance but rather stabilizes motor sequence performance without producing additional gains.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Consolidation ; Enhancement ; Finger Sequence Tapping ; Motor Learning ; Sleep ; Stabilization; Memory Consolidation; Time-course; Early Boost; Skill; Performance
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0270-6474
e-ISSN 1529-2401
Quellenangaben Volume: 35, Issue: 17, Pages: 6696-6702 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Publishing Place Washington
Reviewing status Peer reviewed