Understanding task- and expertise-specific motor acquisition and motor memory formation and consolidation

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This study aimed to assess how the capacity to acquire, form and consolidate motor memories might vary across diff erent tasks and diff erent groups (with and without motor expertise). 20 athletes and 21 non-athletes were tested on fi ve motor tasks: a motor sequence task, a reaction time task, two visuo-manual tasks, and a balance task. Performance was measured before training (T0), immediately after training (T1), and 24 hours after training (T2), to assess motor acquisition and motor memory formation and consolidation. T2 performance was higher in both groups, without additional training, on the motor sequence task, reaction time task and one of the visuo-manual tasks (Pouring Task). Athletes had better baseline performance at T0 than non-athletes on these tasks. Findings suggest that diff erential formation and consolidation processes underlie diff erent motor tasks. Although athletes did not outperform non-athletes on motor memory consolidation, they were more effi cient in acquiring novel tasks, perhaps because the required motor schemas might have been based on previously acquired ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-129
Number of pages22
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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