Wakeful Resting Aids Memory
Published on Mon, Aug 6th 2012, 19:17
Boosting new memories over the long term via a brief rest
Memory researchers at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience unit have revealed that new memories are retained much better over 7 days if new learning is followed immediately by a brief wakeful rest than when new learning is followed immediately by a new task. The research, which is published in Psychological Science, has been reported in the national and international media.
Principal investigator Dr Michaela Dewar said that these findings "support the view that the formation of new memories is not completed within seconds. Indeed our work demonstrates that activities that we are engaged in for the first few minutes after learning new information really affect how well we remember this information after a week." PhD student Jessica Alber added: "What is most surprising about our findings is that we can see a memory boost over such a long time period."
Full reference: Dewar, M., Alber, J., Butler, C., Cowan, N. & Della Sala, S. (2012). Brief wakeful resting boosts new memories over the long term. Psychological Science. doi: 10.1177/0956797612441220