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Maxime Trempe, Jean-Luc Gohier, Mathieu Charbonneau and Jonathan Tremblay

In recent years, it has been shown that spacing training sessions by several hours allows the consolidation of motor skills in the brain, a process leading to the stabilization of the skills and, sometimes, further improvement without additional practice. At the moment, it is unknown whether consolidation can lead to an improvement in performance when the learner performs complex full-body movements. To explore this question, we recruited 10 divers and had them practice a challenging diving maneuver. Divers first performed an initial training session, consisting of 12 dives during which visual feedback was provided immediately after each dive through video replay. Two retention tests without feedback were performed 30 min and 24 hr after the initial training session. All dives were recorded using a video camera and the participants’ performance was assessed by measuring the verticality of the body segments at water entry. Significant performance gains were observed in the 24-hr retention test (p < .05). These results suggest that the learning of complex full-body movements can benefit from consolidation and that splitting practice sessions can be used as a training tool to facilitate skill acquisition.