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Offline consolidation of procedural skill learning is enhanced by negative emotional content

Javardi, Amir Homayoun, Walsh, Vincent and Lewis, Penelope A. ORCID: 2010. Offline consolidation of procedural skill learning is enhanced by negative emotional content. Experimental Brain Research 208 (4) , pp. 507-517. 10.1007/s00221-010-2497-7

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It is now well established that both procedural skills and episodic memories consolidate across periods of offline retention, and most particularly across periods of sleep. Such consolidation has been demonstrated to be more marked for emotional than for neutral episodes, but the interaction between emotionality and the offline consolidation of procedural skills has yet to be investigated. Here, we address this issue by examining the impact of an emotional background context at encoding upon the subsequent consolidation of mirror tracing, a well-studied procedural skill. We also consider the importance of sleep for such consolidation by manipulating the retention interval (over a day, overnight, or over 24 h containing normal sleep). Our data show significantly greater offline improvements in the accuracy of mirror tracing when negative emotional content is present during the training phase when compared to when neutral or positive content is present. Furthermore, consolidation across a night of sleep is associated with faster and more accurate performance than consolidation across a day of wakefulness. These novel findings show that the emotional context in which a procedural skill is learned can impact upon subsequent offline consolidation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consolidation; Procedural memory; Procedural learning; Emotion; Sleep
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0014-4819
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:55

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