Motor memories become resistant to interference by the process of consolidation, which leads to long-term retention. Studies have shown involvement of the somatosensory cortex in motor learning-related plasticity, but not directly in motor memory consolidation. This Neuro Forum article reviews evidence from a continuous theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) study by Kumar and colleagues (Kumar N, Manning TF, Ostry DJ. PLoS Biol 17: e3000469, 2019) that demonstrates the role of somatosensory, rather than motor, cortex in human motor memory consolidation during implicit motor learning.
Keywords: memory consolidation; noninvasive brain stimulation; retention; somatosensory cortex.