Off-line learning in a rhythmic bimanual task: early feedback dependency is reduced over wakefulness Academic Article uri icon


  • Research has supported two distinct forms of motor skill consolidation that can occur between practice sessions: (1) off-line learning, and (2) memory stabilization. Off-line learning describes performance improvement between practice sessions that is above the gain observed at the end of practice, while memory stabilization describes a gain in performance that is maintained between practice sessions. This study used a Lissajous plot to provide concurrent feedback to train participants to produce a 90° relative phase between the index fingers (flexion/extension motion). Significant improvements in performance emerged after ten trials (5 min) of practice. At the end of training, participants were divided into two delay interval groups before retesting, 2-h and 6-h. The retesting session started with participants performing an interference task (10 trials, 5 min) that required training on a 45° relative phase between the fingers with concurrent feedback from the Lissajous plot. When training with the interference task was completed participants were retested with the 90° relative phase without the Lissajous plot feedback. In the retest of the 90° pattern, a performance loss was found in the 2-h delay group, whereas the 6-h delay group maintained the end of practice performance level. Maintenance of the same level of performance without the Lissajous plot represents memory stabilization of the initially trained 90° pattern. The findings are discussed within the context of current positions regarding procedural consolidation and the coordination dynamics framework wherein action and perception are linked through the informational nature of relative phase.

author list (cited authors)

  • McCulloch, A. T., Park, I., Wright, D. L., & Buchanan, J. J.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020 11:11 AM