The power of spaced repetition

Many startups are offering learning products based on dubious claims. While the neuroscience of learning is pretty well understood in terms of underlying biological mechanisms, very few interventions have been proven to have a positive impact on these processes. In a sea of unproven strategies, spaced repetition is the strongest evidence-based learning technique. The concept …

Read more

Science-based methods to improve your memory

Many think it’s impossible to improve your memory. But scientific research shows that many techniques do have an impact on how well we remember things. Unfortunately, lots of people use the wrong methods. For example, highlighting has virtually zero effect on information retention. “It seems like if I have highlighted something (…) then I should …

Read more

Active reading: how to become a better reader

Highly effective readers use a collection of mental processes called active reading in order to retain more of the information and make the new acquired knowledge more useful. Reading in a passive way isn’t an effective way to understand and learn. In order to stay focused and retain more information, it’s important to be highly …

Read more

The Mind, Explained: a Netflix documentary

The news and opinion website Vox just released a new mini-series on Netflix. It’s five 20-minute episodes, all about how the mind works. In typical Vox style, The Mind, Explained mixes cultural narratives, philosophy, and light science to ask interesting questions. I spent the evening watching these and wanted to share my notes. Overall, this …

Read more

How to learn anything with the Feynman Technique

Our current education system is designed to optimise for input. Hours are spent reading, observing, and listening, and output is mostly encouraged as a way to measure the student’s progress. It’s a shame, because there’s lots of research showing that we remember things better when we actively engage with the information and create our own …

Read more

How to better remember what you read

While most people—including scientists—agree on the benefits of reading books, not everyone seems to have been made equal when it comes to remembering their content. Some people are an endless source of insights, recalling every single detail long after they’re finished reading. Others, not so much. What’s going on here? And how can you better …

Read more

The art of memory: mnemonic techniques

Nowadays, when we want to remember something, we mostly use our phone to take a quick note, create a reminder, message ourselves on Slack, or just add it to our calendar. Granted, having a good memory may not be as useful as it used to be, but there’s lots of research showing that training your …

Read more

The science of note-taking

While note-taking feels natural to students, this is something many people stop doing once they start working, either as an employee or for themselves. We may bookmark something to read it later, but the active process of taking notes when consuming content is not a common habit. “It doesn’t matter how you record your notes, …

Read more

The generation effect

Do you feel like you can remember things better when you actively engage with the information and create your own version of it? That’s called the Generation Effect. In a research paper published in 1978 in the Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, scientists described it as the phenomenon where information is better remembered …

Read more

Challenges of memory-sparing medication for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative brain disorder typically occurring in middle or late life which is characterised by progressive dementia, with three main pathological symptoms: degeneration of acetylcholine cells, accumulation of extracellular plaque, and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (McKhann et al., 1984). Its global prevalence in people aged 60+ was estimated to be 3.9%, with …

Read more