Mental rest and reflection of past activities can boost learning

A new study has revealed that the patterns of brain activity recorded in an fMRI scanner depicted that mental rest and reflection on past learning activities could boost future learning.

Washington: A new study has revealed that the patterns of brain activity recorded in an fMRI scanner depicted that mental rest and reflection on past learning activities could boost future learning.

Alison Preston, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, said that they believed that replaying memories during rest made those earlier memories stronger, not just impacting the original content, but also impacting the memories to come.

Until now, many scientists had assumed that prior memories were more likely to interfere with new learning. This new study has shown that at least in some situations, the opposite could be true.

Preston also added that nothing happened in isolation and that when one is learning something new, they'd bring to mind all of the things they know that are related to that new information. In doing so, they embedded the new information into their existing knowledge.

This new understanding might help teachers design more effective ways of teaching. Not necessarily in lecture form, but by asking questions to get students to recall what they'd already know. By prompting them beforehand, that shall help them reactivate relevant knowledge and made the new material more digestible for them.

The results had appeared online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

 

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