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Notes Psychology

Rule 6: Remember to Repeat (Brain Rules)

Ebbinghaus showed us the power of repetition 100 years ago. The loss of memory that occurs one to two hours after learning something can be lessened by deliberate repetitions.

The key is to space out the input. Memory takes a long time to settle into its permanent form and while it is solidifying, it is subject to considerable change. But interference does not occur if the information is delivered in deliberately spaced repetition cycles – this is the best way to fix memory into the brain.

Most memories disappear quickly, but those that survive the initial fragile period strengthen with time.

Long term memories happen because of accumulation of synaptic changes I the cortex as a result of multiple memory reinstatements. These reinstatements are controlled by the hippocampus, sometimes for years.

Eventually the memory becomes independent of the medial temporal lobe – the newer more stable memory trace is permanently stored in the cortex. Mechanisms for retrieval can reconstruct the original pattern of neurons that were first recruited during the first moments of learning.

Our brains give us an approximate view of reality because new knowledge and old memories are stored together as one.

Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and SchoolRule 6: Remember to Repeat (Brain Rules) 1

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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