17th Annual ECSS-Congress, Bruges 2012

Abstract details

Abstract-ID: 778
Session: [OP-BN06] Sleep & Motor Performance
Lecture room: G102
Date & time: 03.07.2014 / 18:00 - 19:30
Authors: Blischke, K.1, Malangrč, A.1
Institution: 1: Saarland University
Department: Department of Sport Science
Country: Germany
Abstract text Introduction Sleep is known to elicit off-line improvements of newly learned procedural skills (Walker, 2005). In the motor domain, however, this phenomenon has been reported almost exclusively for sequential-finger-tapping skills (Blischke et al., 2008). The aim of the present study was to extend the notion of sleep-related offline-learning to tasks closer to everyday motor skills by employing a sequence of unrestrained reaching-movements with the non-dominant arm following an irregular spatial pattern in the horizontal plane. Methods 24 randomly assigned participants (25.5 +/- 3.9 years) practiced a 15-element arm movement sequence for a total of 100 trials either in the evening (EME-group) or in the morning (MEM-group), and were then retested 12 (Retest1) and 24 hrs (Retest2) later (30 trials per test). For each subject, average total execution time (TET) and number of erroneous sequences (ES) were assessed. Performance measures at the end of practice were calculated from the last three acquisition blocks. Also, based on each subject’s TET-acquisition data, a power function was calculated to obtain an estimate for that individual’s performance during both Retest1 and Retest2, which possibly might have resulted from mere continued practice. Results In both groups error rate was low from the beginning on and did not change across tests (p = .239). However, TET significantly decreased during acquisition in both groups (p < .001, eta^2= .81), and decreased once more in either group following the respective sleep-filled retention intervals (EME: F(1, 11) = 35.11, p < .001, eta^2= .76; MEM: F(1, 11) = 60.33, p < .001, eta^2= .84), but remained stable throughout the wake intervals (p >= .127). Also, in each group the observed actual TET proved to be significantly shorter than the predicted TET after sleep (EME[Retest1]: t (11) = -3.90, p = .001, d = 1.13; MEM[Retest2]: t (11) = -5.01, p < .001, d = 1.41), while actual and estimated TET were not dissociated by the wake interval preceding sleep in the MEM-group (p = .427). Discussion According to our results, even in a gross motor task involving a sequence of coordinated limb movements, sleep following initial learning significantly facilitates performance. This result is also maintained when controlling for possible performance improvements due to just continued practice at retention. This finding successfully extends the notion of sleep-related offline-learning beyond the standard finger-tapping paradigm. References Blischke K, Erlacher D, Kresin H, Brueckner S, Malangré A (2008). Journal of Human Kinetics, 20, 23-35. Walker MP (2005). Behav Brain Sci, 28: 51-104 Contact k.blischke@mx.uni-saarland.de
Topic: Motor Learning
Keyword I: sleep
Keyword II: offline-learning
Keyword III: gross motor task