Motor Learning Triggers Neuroplastic Processes While Awake and During Sleep

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2018 Jul;46(3):152-159. doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000154.


Behavioral changes characteristic for motor learning result from synaptic plasticity within the sensorimotor system. This review summarizes how the central nervous system responds rapidly to motor activity while awake. It then discusses evidence for the hypothesis that sleep is essential for both stabilizing previously acquired motor memories and maintaining the brain's efficacy to undergo plastic changes to learn new skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Memory*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Motor Skills
  • Nerve Net
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Sleep*