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The neuroscience of learning and memory

The neuroscience of learning and memory

​Dear Students,

In addition to serving as interim undergraduate dean, I'm a neuroscientist, who, from time to time, uses this space to discuss how neuroscience connects to our lives. Today, I focus on one of my favorite phenomena in the neuroscience of learning and memory: the trial spacing effect.

​The trial spacing effect demonstrates that we learn more effectively when study sessions are spaced out in time. The effect was originally demonstrated by the psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, who investigated his own ability to memorize lists of made-up words. The spacing effect has since been demonstrated in many learning paradigms in many species. It is a great tool that will help you study more efficiently and effectively.

This semester, let the spacing effect work in your favor. Make a bit of time each day to work on the material you are trying to learn. When you begin studying new material, you may find you forget the material rather quickly, and study sessions need to be close together in time. Gradually, you can increase the spacing between study sessions, until soon, you're learning better with less effort.

Best,
Dr. Drew


Joke: Have you heard about the new restaurant on the moon? The food is good, but there's very little atmosphere.

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The neuroscience of learning and memory

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Friday, 27 January 2023

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