Sleep is associated with offline improvement of motor sequence skill in children

Sho K. Sugawara*, Satoshi Tanaka, Daisuke Tanaka, Ayumi Seki, Hitoshi T. Uchiyama, Shuntaro Okazaki, Tastuya Koeda, Norihiro Sadato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In adults, sleep is necessary for the offline improvement of certain skills, such as sequential finger tapping, but whether children show a similar effect is still debatable. Here, we tested whether sleep is associated with offline performance improvement in children. Nine- and 11-year-old children trained on an explicit sequential finger tapping task. On the night following training, their parents observed and recorded the duration of each child's sleep. The following day, all children performed a surprise retest session on the previously trained sequence. In both 9- and 11-year-old children, skill performance was significantly improved during the first retest session relative to the end of training on the previous day, confirming the offline improvement in performance. There was a significant correlation between the degree of improvement and sleep duration the night after training, suggesting that in children, as in adults, sleep is associated with offline skill enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere111635
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 5
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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