When is the brain learning?

npj Summary – A new study reveals the type of learning is the switch toggling the brain between offline & online mode ⎮ 1 min read

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Learning about a new topic or performing a skill are often achieved through repetitive study and practice, known as online mode. However, scientists have discovered the neural changes associated with learning continue when the brain switches to offline mode during rest or sleep periods.

A team of international scientists led by Romain Quentin, aimed to distinguish what type of learning dynamic was more pronounced during offline or online learning mode. Three different types of learning (statistical learning, high-order rule learning, and general skill learning) were assessed by measuring the individual’s performance during short practice (online) or rest (offline) periods.   

The results of the experiment showed the mechanism of learning by the brain adjusts according to the type of learning, for example, higher order learning was facilitated by a rest period.  

To discover more about the results of the study, read Statistical learning occurs during practice while high-order rule learning during rest period published by npj Science of Learning.


Quentin, R., Fanuel, L., Kiss, M. et al. Statistical learning occurs during practice while high-order rule learning during rest period. npj Sci. Learn. 6, 14 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-021-00093-9

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