Acute Exercise Can Protect a Newly Acquired Procedural Skill
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The present study was designed to evaluate if an acute bout of moderate intensity exercise could provide some protection to a newly formed memory for procedural skill. Congruent with previous work, test performance for a target motor sequence practiced 6-hr earlier exhibited minimal forgetting. Inclusion of additional practice with an alternative motor sequence 45-min after the original practice significantly increased forgetting of the target motor sequence. Inserting a bout of exercise between practice with the two motor sequences, reduced the extent of forgetting of the target motor sequence. Using a 6-hr retention interval, which occurred across a wake period, verified that this protection of new procedural skill knowledge was exercise-not sleep-dependent. These data are consistent with the claim that exercise can expedite the employment of consolidation leading to more rapid stabilization of a labile motor memory that provides greater resiliency to interference from new learning. The benefit in procedural skill test performance following exercise was localized to execution rather than the concatenation process, the latter of which has been implicated in sleep-dependent memory improvements. Finally, the exercise-mediated memory benefit was not associated with increase peripheral lactate concentration resulting from the exercise bout. This may in part be due to the use of moderate rather than more vigorous intensity exercise being used in the present work.
Motor sequence learning
Discrete sequence production task
Jo, Ji Seong (2017). Acute Exercise Can Protect a Newly Acquired Procedural Skill. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from