How can we best link information that is learned at different periods in time? This question is important in everyday learning situations such as in educational settings. A team led by Marlieke van Kesteren of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in The Netherlands set out to investigate two ways to achieve this. First, they looked at whether relatedness helps to link old with new information, and second they considered the effects of active reactivation of old information while learning new information. Both of these factors were found to benefit memory for the link between the old and the new information. This shows students and teachers that to build knowledge, we need to actively reactivate related old memories while learning new information.
The full text of this original research article is available in our companion journal, npj Science of Learning here.