Electrophysiological traces of visuomotor learning and their renormalization after sleep

E. C. Landsness, F. Ferrarelli, S. Sarasso, M. R. Goldstein, B. A. Riedner, C. Cirelli, B. Perfetti, C. Moisello, M. F. Ghilardi, G. Tononi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Adapting movements to a visual rotation involves the activation of right posterior parietal areas. Further performance improvement requires an increase of slow wave activity in subsequent sleep in the same areas. Here we ascertained whether a post-learning trace is present in wake EEG and whether such a trace is influenced by sleep slow waves. Methods: In two separate sessions, we recorded high-density EEG in 17 healthy subjects before and after a visuomotor rotation task, which was performed both before and after sleep. High-density EEG was recorded also during sleep. One session aimed to suppress sleep slow waves, while the other session served as a control. Results: After learning, we found a trace in the eyes-open wake EEG as a local, parietal decrease in alpha power. After the control night, this trace returned to baseline levels, but it failed to do so after slow wave deprivation. The overnight change of the trace correlated with the dissipation of low frequency (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2418-2425
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Alpha
  • Sleep homeostasis
  • Slow wave
  • Slow wave deprivation
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Visual motor learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems


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