When and Where in Skill Memory Consolidation: Neuro-Behavioral Constraints on the Acquisition and Generation of Procedural Knowledge
Avi Karni* and Maria Korman†
Compelling behavioral and neuro-imaging data suggest that the retention and perfection of skills (procedural, “how to” knowledge) reflects long-lasting experience-driven changes in the brain’s organization (neural plasticity). Two corollaries require consideration in designing effective skill learning programs. i) Neuro-behavioral constraints, imposed on whether neuronal plasticity is triggered and allowed to proceed, must be satisfied; otherwise, the skill may fail to consolidate into long-term memory. These include the amount of task iterations afforded, task scheduling, behavioral relevancy and the degree of consistency of the to-be-learned experience over a required timewindow. ii) The performance of a given task reflects qualitatively different task solution routines in different phases of experience. Practice, given time and sometimes time-in-sleep, can trigger processes whereby new procedural knowledge and qualitative changes in task solution, emerge and consolidate. These emerging changes in procedural knowledge result in differences in the ability to transfer gains, across stimulus, context and task parameters.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011