Strategies to Improve Memory & Learning

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The recent report splashed all over the press that supposedly found playing online brain games makes you no smarter than surfing the Internet demonstrated no more than we already know: that transfer beyond the specific tasks you practise is very rare, and that well-educated people who are not deprived of mental stimulation and have no health or disability problems are not the people likely to be helped by such games.

A six-week study got a lot of press last month. The study involved some 11,000 viewers of the BBC's science show "Bang Goes the Theory", and supposedly showed that playing online brain games makes you no smarter than surfing the Internet to answer general knowledge questions.

Despite the popularity of brainstorming as a strategy for producing ideas and new perspectives, it appears that participation in a group actually reduces the number of ideas produced (compared to the number of ideas that would be produced if the participants though

A number of studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the keyword mnemonic for short-term recall, for example:

When a group of people work together to remember an event, the group do appear to recall more than an individual working alone, but do they recall more than the sum of the memories each individual recalls?

It has long been known that spacing practice (reviewing learning or practicing a skill at spaced intervals) is far more effective than massed practice (in one heavy session).


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