A single-session of mindfulness meditation expedites immediate motor memory consolidation to improve wakeful offline learning

James O Brown, Alex Chatburn, David L. Wright, Maarten A. Immink

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

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Post-training meditation has been shown to promote wakeful motor memory stabilization in experienced meditators. We investigated the effect of single-session mindfulness meditation on wakeful and sleep-dependent forms of implicit motor memory consolidation in mediation naïve adults. Immediately after implicit sequence training, participants (N = 20, 8 females, Mage=23.9 years ± 3.3) completed either a 10-minute focused attention meditation (N = 10), aiming to direct and sustain attention to breathing, or a control listening task. They were then exposed to interference through novel sequence training. Trained sequence performance was tested following a 5-hour wakeful period and again after a 15-hour period, which included sleep. Bayesian inference was applied to group comparison of mean reaction time(MRT) changes across training, interference, wakeful and post-sleep time points. Relative to control conditions, post-training meditation reduced novel sequence interference (BF10= 6.61)and improved wakeful motor memory consolidation (BF10=8.34). No group differences in sleep consolidation were evident(BF10= 0.38). These findings illustrate that post-training mindfulness meditation expedites wakeful offline learning of an implicit motor sequence in meditation naïve adults. Interleavingmindfulness meditation between acquisition of a target motor sequence and exposure to an interfering motor sequence reduced proactive and retroactive inference. Post-training mindfulness meditation did not enhance nor inhibit sleep-dependent offline learning of a target implicit motor sequence. Previous meditation training is not required to obtain wakeful consolidation gains from post-training mindfulness meditation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusSubmitted - 29 Sept 2021

Publication series

NamePsyArXiv Preprints


  • motor sequence learning
  • mindfulness meditation
  • attention
  • motor memory consolidation
  • implicit learning
  • Serial reaction time task
  • Bayesian inference


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