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Research Digest

Screenshot 2019-05-20 at 09.42.43.png Brain activity associated with learning of left-handed key-presses during rest periods, via Bönstrup et al 2019

ByMatthew Warren

A wealth of research has shown that taking breaks is an important part of learning. Resting straight after acquiring new information seems to improve memory of that information, for example, and sleep is particularly important for consolidating what we have just learned. 

Now it seems that even miniscule breaks, just seconds long, are also vital for learning new skills. A study published recently in Current Biology has found that most of the improvement while learning a motor task comes not while actually practicing, but instead during the breaks between practice sessions.

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