Posts Tagged ‘study skills’

Rehearsing Before Bed Improves Recall Next Day

Several recent studies suggest that you learn better and can improve at problem solving with the right sleep.  Enhanced learning has been reported for a full night’s sleep and  strategically timed naps. We have covered these in the Next Brain Blog, for example:

Light Sleep Enough to Integrate New Memories

A Sleeping Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Not All Naps Have Brain Boosting Effects

Now new research from University of Notre Dame looks at the effect of sleep on two different types of memories – episodic or memories for events and semantic or memories of facts about the world. They found:

“Since we found that sleeping soon after learning benefited both types of memory, this means that it would be a good thing to rehearse any information you need to remember just prior to going to bed. In some sense, you may be ‘telling’ the sleeping brain what to consolidate.”

This idea should be easy to test.  I am interested to hear from readers that use this technique or any  before-you-sleep method to improve brain function and cognitive performance.

10 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mark Clare - April 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Categories: Lifestyle, Memory and Learning   Tags:

Simple Study Skills That Light Up Your Brain!

A colleague shared an interesting  New York Times article, Forget What You Know about Good Study Habits.   The core idea:

“In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying. The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on.”

The few simple techniques uncovered by cognitive scientist for improving how we study include:

1. Regularly change or alternate the room or environment you study in.

2. Study or work related but not identical topics or study tasks in one sitting.  For example, when learning a language study vocabulary, written translation and speaking all in the same session.

3. Space study sessions out over time rather than cramming. Alternate study with simple physical activities.

4. Prepare and take mock tests yourself before taking actual tests.

Simple yes  but not commonly practiced by students or adult learners engaged in systematic study. Yet they are proven to “light up the brain” or improve our learning performance.

Interested to hear from readers about other study techniques they have found effective.

20 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mark Clare - September 9, 2010 at 3:06 am

Categories: Child, College Student, Memory and Learning, Older Adult, Training   Tags: