Exposure to Sleep, Rest, or Exercise Impacts Skill Memory Consolidation but so Too Can a Challenging Practice Schedule.
Additional Document Info
When discussing procedural learning, it is now routine to consider both online and offline influences for skill acquisition. This is because it is commonly assumed that the evolution of a novel skill memory continues well after practice is over. Indeed, factors impacting offline contributions to skill memory development such as sleep and exercise have garnered considerable research interest in recent years. This is partly because of their capacity to foster postpractice consolidation, a process that has been identified as critical to moving a skill memory from a labile to more stable or elaborate form. While uncovering the potency of non-practice factors to facilitate consolidation is undoubtedly important, the present opinion is designed to remind the reader that a practice schedule, organized to challenge the learner, can, in and of itself, be effective in supporting consolidation resulting in significant gains in long-term skill retention.