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Daytime sleep condenses the time course of motor memory consolidation

Abstract

Two behavioral phenomena characterize human motor memory consolidation: diminishing susceptibility to interference by a subsequent experience and the emergence of delayed, offline gains in performance. A recent model proposes that the sleep-independent reduction in interference is followed by the sleep-dependent expression of offline gains. Here, using the finger-opposition sequence–learning task, we show that an interference experienced at 2 h, but not 8 h, following the initial training prevented the expression of delayed gains at 24 h post-training. However, a 90-min nap, immediately post-training, markedly reduced the susceptibility to interference, with robust delayed gains expressed overnight, despite interference at 2 h post-training. With no interference, a nap resulted in much earlier expression of delayed gains, within 8 h post-training. These results suggest that the evolution of robustness to interference and the evolution of delayed gains can coincide immediately post-training and that both effects reflect sleep-sensitive processes.

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Figure 1: The finger-to-thumb opposition task and protocols.
Figure 2: Performance changes (speed and accuracy) during the first 24 h after a single training session, followed 2 h (a) and 8 h (b) later by training on an interfering condition.
Figure 3: Performance changes (speed and accuracy) during the first 24 h after a single training session.
Figure 4: Individual normalized gains in performance speed.

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Acknowledgements

Support for this research was provided by the Council of Higher Education in Israel (M.K.), Israel Science Foundation (Y.D. and A.K.) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (J. Doyon, J.C. and A.K.).

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Contributions

M.K. designed and conducted the experiments and data analysis and wrote the manuscript; J. Doyon provided theoretical input and edited the manuscript; J. Doljansky analyzed sleep recordings; J.C. provided technical input and edited the manuscript; Y.D. supervised the sleep-related aspects of the project; A.K. designed and supervised the project and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Maria Korman.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Korman, M., Doyon, J., Doljansky, J. et al. Daytime sleep condenses the time course of motor memory consolidation. Nat Neurosci 10, 1206–1213 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1959

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