Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Higher performance and fronto-parietal brain activity following active versus passive learning

From a brief open source PNAS report by Stillesjö et al. that has a nice graphic of the fMRI data supporting their observations:
We here demonstrate common neurocognitive long-term memory effects of active learning that generalize over course subjects (mathematics and vocabulary) by the use of fMRI. One week after active learning, relative to more passive learning, performance and fronto-parietal brain activity was significantly higher during retesting, possibly related to the formation and reactivation of semantic representations. These observations indicate that active learning conditions stimulate common processes that become part of the representations and can be reactivated during retrieval to support performance. Our findings are of broad interest and educational significance related to the emerging consensus of active learning as critical in promoting good long-term retention.

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