The Wall Street Journal:
Just in case you don’t have any stroboscopic shades on hand, here’s a more homely way to improve your memory. Researchers, across two experiments, had groups of healthy elderly participants listen to two stories, with instructions to pay close attention to details, as they’d be asked about them later.
Some of the participants, after hearing the stories, “were asked to rest quietly with their eyes closed in the darkened testing room for 10 min[utes] while the experimenter left ‘to prepare the next test.’” Others proceeded directly to a task in which they tried to spot the differences in two similar images.
One of the two experiments included a recall test at the end of the session: The participants who had relaxed, eyes closed, for 10 minutes performed better on the memory exercise than those who had stayed busy. Both experiments included a recall test seven days later. In each case, the people who had taken the spell of wakeful rest remembered more details about the stories.
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