"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
10 How important is long-term memory, anyway？1 Distributed practiceAugmenting Long-term Memory2020-09-24Journal1 Distributed practice2 Distributed practice3 Distributed practice
Why does Anki work? In this section we briefly look at one of the key underlying ideas from cognitive science, known as distributed practice.
Suppose you're introduced to someone at a party, and they tell you their name. If you're paying attention, and their name isn't too unusual, you'll almost certainly remember their name 20 seconds later. But you're more likely to have forgotten their name in an hour, and more likely still to have forgotten their name in a month.
That is, memories decay. This isn't news! But the great German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus had the good idea of studying memory decay systematically and quantitatively\\ Hermann Ebbinghaus, Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology (1885). A recent replication of Ebbinghaus's results may be found in: Jaap M. J. Murre and Joeri Dros, Replication and Analysis of Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve (2015).. In particular, he was interested in how quickly memories decay, and what causes the decay. To study this, Ebbinghaus memorized strings of nonsense syllables – things like “fim“ and “pes” – and later tested himself, recording how well he retained those syllables after different time intervals.
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