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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Feb;17(2):77-88. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2015.18.

The right time to learn: mechanisms and optimization of spaced learning.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, W. M. Keck Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, P.O. BOX 20708, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Abstract

For many types of learning, spaced training, which involves repeated long inter-trial intervals, leads to more robust memory formation than does massed training, which involves short or no intervals. Several cognitive theories have been proposed to explain this superiority, but only recently have data begun to delineate the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of spaced training, and we review these theories and data here. Computational models of the implicated signalling cascades have predicted that spaced training with irregular inter-trial intervals can enhance learning. This strategy of using models to predict optimal spaced training protocols, combined with pharmacotherapy, suggests novel ways to rescue impaired synaptic plasticity and learning.

PMID:
26806627
PMCID:
PMC5126970
DOI:
10.1038/nrn.2015.18
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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