Daytime sleep condenses the time course of motor memory consolidation.Nat Neurosci. 2007 Sep; 10(9):1206-13.NN
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.