Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Behav Neurosci. 2008 Apr;122(2):267-72. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.2.267.

Sleep-dependent learning and practice-dependent deterioration in an orientation discrimination task.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, Research Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, USA. smednick@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Learning new information requires practice. The degree of learning can be influenced by the amount of practice and whether subjects sleep between sessions. Over-practice, however, can lead to performance deterioration. The interaction between practice-dependent deterioration and sleep-dependent learning needs more study. We examine whether the amount of practice before sleep alters learning, and whether prior sleep protects against deterioration. Two groups (N = 33) were tested three times across two days on an orientation discrimination task. The High practice group was tested twice before a night of sleep and once after, at 9 a.m., 7 p.m., and 9 a.m. The Low practice group was tested once before a night of sleep and twice after, at 7 p.m., 9 a.m., and 7 p.m. Overall, both groups showed (1) deterioration with repeated, within-day testing, (2) performance improvement only after a night of sleep, (3) similar amounts of sleep-dependent learning and practice-dependent deterioration. In summary, we found that sleep resets visual contrast thresholds to a lower baseline (i.e., produces learning), but does not prevent over-practice deterioration effects. Likewise, over-practice deterioration does not influence the magnitude of overnight learning on this task.

PMID:
18410166
PMCID:
PMC2744595
DOI:
10.1037/0735-7044.122.2.267
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center