Navigation Links
To Boost Your Memory, Take a Break

Resting after learning helps to cement new information, researchers say

FRIDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Great news for working stiffs: You can take a break and feel good about it, new research suggests.

If you want to strengthen your memory, take a break after learning new information, say New York University researchers who found such "active rest" strengthens memory.

While sleep has been studied and found valuable as a way to preserve memories, less is known about how "active rest" during the day may affect them, said Lila Davachi, an assistant professor of psychology at NYU. So, she tested the memory of 16 study participants and evaluated the effect of rest on memory.

The study is published in the Jan. 28 issue of Neuron. The lead author of the study is Arielle Tambini, a doctoral candidate at NYU.

First, the researchers showed participants a series of images, each one pairing a face and an object. For instance, they looked at a "surfer dude" and a beach ball and were asked how likely the person was to be holding that object.

"After that, we asked them to rest," Davachi said. As they rested, the researchers observed brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

The investigators wanted to examine activity between the brain's hippocampus and the neocortex. Long-term storage of memories is thought to result from the "off-line" transfer of information from the hippocampus to the neocortex, Davachi explained.

"The brain regions remained active during rest, suggesting a replay of the experience," Davachi said. This suggested, but didn't prove, that memories were being cemented, she noted.

So the researchers gave the participants the memory test after they had rested. "The subjects who had greater correlations between the two brain areas [during rest] had better associative memory," Davachi said. "They remembered the face that went with the object [better]."

Another expert found the study results interesting. "I think it is important in that [the study] is showing that active rest is a time when you get this transfer of memory," said Dr. Paul Sanberg, director of the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa.

The finding may help both in a practical way, for individuals trying to improve their memory, and in research, to help experts further understand memory and what goes wrong, he said.

For people, the finding suggests having a rest period after learning new information may be valuable, Sanberg added. He doesn't know, however, if a coffee break would be the best way. It's probably better to sit, do nothing and let the new information soak in, he suggested.

"By keeping on doing many different tasks [after learning new information], you may interrupt the memory you want to strengthen," Sanberg said.

More information

Learn some tips on boosting your memory from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Lila Davachi, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, New York University, New York City; Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., M.D., professor of neurosurgery and director of the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair, Tampa, Fla.; Jan. 28, 2010, Neuron

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New treatment boosts muscle function in myasthenia gravis
2. Heavy Drinking Boosts Stroke Risk for Chinese Men
3. Longer ambulance journeys boost death risk for seriously ill patients
4. Traffic Fumes Plus Genes Boosts Kids Asthma Risk
5. Heart Attack Boosts Diabetes Risk
6. Smoking Boosts Risk for Head, Neck Cancers
7. Continued Statin Use Boosts Post-Stroke Outcomes
8. U.S. Initiative Seeks to Boost Hispanic Stroke Awareness
9. Radiation and drug combo helps boost efficacy of lung cancer treatment
10. Genes Boost Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus
11. Parents PTSD May Boost Stress in Offspring
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios ... X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: ... The closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As ... with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine ... and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches ... success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in ... than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... contains up to date financial data derived from varied research ... trends with potential impact on the market during the next ... which comprises of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , ... Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has ... Horizon Award . One of 12 suppliers ... for its support of Premier members through exceptional local ... and commitment to lower costs. ... of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: