Off-line learning and the primary motor cortex

Robertson, E.M. , Press, D.Z. and Pascual-Leone, A. (2005) Off-line learning and the primary motor cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(27), pp. 6372-6378. (doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1851-05.2005) (PMID:16000627)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


We are all familiar with acquiring skills during practice, but skill can also continue to develop between practice sessions. These “off-line” improvements are frequently supported by sleep, but they can be time dependent when a skill is acquired unintentionally. The magnitude of these over-day and overnight improvements is similar, suggesting that a similar mechanism may support both types of off-line improvements. However, here we show that disruption of the primary motor cortex with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation blocks off-line improvements over the day but not overnight. This suggests that a memory may be rescued overnight and subsequently enhanced or that different aspects of a skill, with differential dependencies on the primary motor cortex, are enhanced over day and overnight. Off-line improvements of similar magnitude are not supported by similar mechanisms; instead, the mechanisms engaged may depend on brain state.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robertson, Professor Edwin
Authors: Robertson, E.M., Press, D.Z., and Pascual-Leone, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher:The Society for Neuroscience
ISSN (Online):1529-2401

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record