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Brain Res Bull. 2010 Apr 29;82(1-2):118-23. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.01.006. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

The effects of morning training on night sleep: a behavioral and EEG study.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53719, USA.


The consolidation of memories in a variety of learning processes benefits from post-training sleep, and recent work has suggested a role for sleep slow wave activity (SWA). Previous studies using a visuomotor learning task showed a local increase in sleep SWA in right parietal cortex, which was correlated with post-sleep performance enhancement. In these as in most similar studies, learning took place in the evening, shortly before sleep. Thus, it is currently unknown whether learning a task in the morning, followed by the usual daily activities, would also result in a local increase in sleep SWA during the night, and in a correlated enhancement in performance the next day. To answer this question, a group of subjects performed a visuomotor learning task in the morning and was retested the following morning. Whole night sleep was recorded with high-density EEG. We found an increase of SWA over the right posterior parietal areas that was most evident during the second sleep cycle. Performance improved significantly the following morning, and the improvement was positively correlated with the SWA increase in the second sleep cycle. These results suggest that training-induced changes in sleep SWA and post-sleep improvements do not depend upon the time interval between original training and sleep.

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