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Varying study locations could improve retention, study says

For many students at Tufts, an upcoming paper or exam means holing up in Tisch Library for an all−nighter. But as midterms approach, they may do well to reconsider: Psychologists find that changing study locations every so often can actually help improve information retention.

Psychologists have been aware of this discovery since 1978, according to the news source Psychology Today, but educational institutions and students alike have been ignoring the useful advice since its unearthing.

The benefits of moving around while studying has to with the brain’s formation of subconscious associations between the subject matter being studied and the specificities of the site. So if you limit yourself to The Rez, your brain might associate your Hebrew vocabulary words with bright red lights, or if you prefer the library basement, you might only be able to spit out historical dates in the presence of deep purple walls.

But forcing the brain to associate particular study materials with many different settings may help it to retain that information in general, psychologists say.

It is for this reason that senior Lucas Schlager makes sure to study in multiple locations.

“[Even] that 10 minute period of time when you’re lying in bed but aren’t ready to get up and don’t want to feel completely useless,” he said.

Read the full story at the Tufts Daily.

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