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Praise and competence-based self-esteem alter offline gains in motor skills
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3625-290X
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Monetary reward and video-based praise following training of a motor skill result in greater gains in the skill. Whether this could also be achieved by text-only praise after learning is unclear. Neither is it known whether the effects of praise on subsequent consolidation of motor memories depend on the learner’s competence-based self-esteem. A high competence-based self-esteem is defined by one’s abilities, constituting a fragile basis for feelings of self-worth, and correlates with a lower intrinsic self-esteem.

In the present study, seventy-eight subjects performed a motor task where they tapped a digit sequence (on a laptop) as fast and accurate as possible at three separate sessions: learning (scheduled in the evening on the training day), short-term recall (12 hours later), and long-term recall (~30 days later). Immediately after learning, all participants of the PRAISE group (n=39) were given a text praise, whereas those of the NO PRAISE group were not. Our results demonstrate that praise overall resulted in greater post-training gains in finger skill compared with no praise (P<0.05, ~ +6%). We also found that those with low scores on the competence-based self-esteem scale (i.e., likely to have a high intrinsic self-esteem) showed more pronounced post-training gains in finger skill than those with higher scores (P<0.05). However, competence-based self-esteem did not change the effect of praise on offline gains in finger skill (P>0.05). If confirmed by future studies, our findings could suggest that praise and a person’s self-esteem can contribute to variance in post-training improvements of motor skill.

Keywords [en]
Procedural memory, Motor skills, Learning, Praise, Reward, Competence-based self-esteem
National Category
Neurosciences Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-382099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-382099DiVA, id: diva2:1306009
Available from: 2019-04-22 Created: 2019-04-22 Last updated: 2019-05-02
In thesis
1. If only I could sleep, maybe I could remember
Open this publication in new window or tab >>If only I could sleep, maybe I could remember
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Memory lies the ground for human cognitive skills, enabling complex social interaction, abstract thinking, and execution of precise motor skills. Development of these memory functions can be modified by several factors, including previous knowledge, reward, and sleep. In Paper I, skill level already when learning a motor skill determined whether the newly encoded memory would be enhanced during a subsequent post-learning period without training. Those already performing at a high level during learning gained less until recall, whereas those who performed at a lower level during learning demonstrated an enhanced improvement at recall.

Thus, in Paper I we determined modulators of skill enhancement. In Paper II, we actively intended to modulate subsequent motor skill gain by delivering a praise immediately following learning. We found that praise had a positive effect on performance gain, which demonstrates that there are interventions that can easily be applied to enhance motor skill learning across time.

Sleep is vital for healthy cognitive functions, and sleep disruption has not only been correlated with impaired cognitive function in the short-term, it has also been implicated as a risk factor for development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. In paper I, nighttime sleep between learning and recall of a motor memory was beneficial for learning compared to a daytime wake period. In Paper III, depriving participants from sleep negatively influenced performance on a working memory task; as did auditory distractions, but independent from sleep deprivation. However, working memory functions were not equally effected in women and men; working memory functions in women were more affected by sleep deprivation.

Although it is well-known that sleep is good for health and well-being, in today’s modern society, most people have access to electricity and internet 24/7, and it is not uncommon to exchange sleep time with spending time in front of screen-based devices, such as smartphones. Access to screen-based devices in the evening and during the night are negatively correlated with a good night’s rest. In Paper IV, we did not find support for that the light emitted from those screens play a role for this negative correlation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 75
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1574
Keywords
Sleep, Memory, Learning, Motor skills, Praise, Reward, Sleep deprivation, Sex-differences, LED-screens, Circadian rhythm, Competence-based self-esteem
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-382100 (URN)978-91-513-0659-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-14, Sal IV, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-20 Created: 2019-04-23 Last updated: 2019-06-18

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Tan, XiaoBenedict, Christian

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