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Oct 08, 2008

Sleep-related improvements in motor learning following mental practice

Sleep-related improvements in motor learning following mental practice.

Brain Cogn. 2008 Oct 4;

Authors: Debarnot U, Creveaux T, Collet C, Gemignani A, Massarelli R, Doyon J, Guillot A

A wide range of experimental studies have provided evidence that a night of sleep may enhance motor performance following physical practice (PP), but little is known, however, about its effect after motor imagery (MI). Using an explicitly learned pointing task paradigm, thirty participants were assigned to one of three groups that differed in the training method (PP, MI, and control groups). The physical performance was measured before training (pre-test), as well as before (post-test 1) and after a night of sleep (post-test 2). The time taken to complete the pointing tasks, the number of errors and the kinematic trajectories were the dependent variables. As expected, both the PP and the MI groups improved their performance during the post-test 1. The MI group was further found to enhance motor performance after sleep, hence suggesting that sleep-related effects are effective following mental practice. Such findings highlight the reliability of MI in learning process, which is thought consolidated when associated with sleep.

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