Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Adrian Owen


Sleep has been shown to facilitate the consolidation (i.e., enhancement) of simple explicit (i.e., conscious) motor sequence learning (MSL). It remains unclear the degree to which this applies to implicit (i.e., unconscious) MSL. Employing reaction time and response generation tasks, we investigated the extent to which sleep is involved in consolidating implicit MSL, specifically whether the motor or the spatial cognitive representations of a learned sequence are enhanced by sleep, and whether these changes support the development of explicit sequence knowledge across sleep but not wake. Our results indicate that spatial and motor representations can be behaviourally dissociated for implicit MSL. However, neither representation was preferentially enhanced across sleep nor were developments of explicit awareness observed. These results suggest that like explicit MSL, implicit MSL has dissociable spatial and motor representations, but unlike explicit sequence learning, implicit motor and spatial memory consolidation is independent of sleep.