Posted by: sugarae97 | April 13, 2012

Rewrite – AOW – Too Much Practice?

Have you ever been taking a test and there’s just one answer you can’t remember? You think and think, but even though you had all the information perfectly memorized last night, there’s that one fact that slips from your mind. But what if you had taken more time to study? By repetitively practicing, you can comprehend information better and retain it longer.

The more effort you put into practicing the less effort it will take to perform. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers developed a test that measured how much energy the participants used by analyzing their breathing pattern while performing a repetitive motion. The results showed a decrease of about 20% in energy expended as their skill improved in the task. If you keep going over what you have already perfected, your brain will register what you’re doing. That way it will become easier and more natural for you to recall later.

By repeating actions over and over again, not only will you perform them better, you will remember them longer. “The message from this study is that in order to perform with less effort, keep on practicing, even after it seems the task has been learned,” said Alaa Ahmed, assistant professor in the integrative physiology department at the University of Colorado-Boulder. For example, if you cram the night before a test, you will probably be successful the next day. However, if you continue to keep studying until you thoroughly understand the material, you will retain the information in your long-term memory. Therefor, it will require less effort to recall what you have learned.

Making the effort now to overlearn information or actions will benefit you in the future. Time spent today will be time saved tomorrow. By overpracticing now and committing information to your long-term memory, you free up space for short-term memories and make the brain more efficient in everyday use. Take advantage of overlearning, you’re improving even if you are unaware.

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