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To Help Your Memory, Relax and Take a Break

A new study, performed by New York University’s department of psychology and Center for Neural Science, shows that a time of rest right after a learning experience or lesson may allow the brain to process this new information and chronicle it for future reference.

Though these results may seem to go against the general conception of memorization, such as that the more something is repeated and drilled the more likely it is to be remembered, this study implies that taking a break and letting the brain relax right after a learning experience may be a much more efficient use of time. Dr. Davachi, head scientist of the study, comments on the matter, “People tend to think that if we want to remember something, you should do something active, like rehearse the material. And you can do that – we know it helps… but my suspicion is just letting your mind wander is going to be okay.”

Although scientists have long understood that sleep facilitates the archiving of information into memories, Dr. Davachi points out that a short, relaxing break may be where the process of knowledge accumulation begins, and instead of strict repetition, taking a bit of personal time may be more beneficial.

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