Effect of the time-of-day of training on explicit memory

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Studies have shown a time-of-day of training effect on long-term explicit memory with a greater effect being shown in the afternoon than in the morning. However, these studies did not control the chronotype variable. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess if the time-of-day effect on explicit memory would continue if this variable were controlled, in addition to identifying the occurrence of a possible synchronic effect. A total of 68 undergraduates were classified as morning, intermediate, or afternoon types. The subjects listened to a list of 10 words during the training phase and immediately performed a recognition task, a procedure which they repeated twice. One week later, they underwent an unannounced recognition test. The target list and the distractor words were the same in all series. The subjects were allocated to two groups according to acquisition time: a morning group (N = 32), and an afternoon group (N = 36). One week later, some of the subjects in each of these groups were subjected to a test in the morning (N = 35) or in the afternoon (N = 33). The groups had similar chronotypes. Long-term explicit memory performance was not affected by test time-of-day or by chronotype. However, there was a training time-of-day effect [F (1,56) = 53.667; P = 0.009] with better performance for those who trained in the afternoon. Our data indicated that the advantage of training in the afternoon for long-term memory performance does not depend on chronotype and also that this performance is not affected by the synchronic effect.




Barbosa, F. F., & Albuquerque, F. S. (2008). Effect of the time-of-day of training on explicit memory. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 41(6), 477–481. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2008005000023

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