New York, Dec 10:
The act of saving helps to free up cognitive resources which can be used to remember new information, said researchers from University of California, Santa Cruz.
“Our findings show that people are significantly better at learning and remembering new information when they save previous information,” said psychological scientist and study author Benjamin Storm.
In the study, the researchers asked 20 college students to use computers to open and study pairs of PDF files (File A and File B).
Each PDF contained a list of 10 common nouns.
The students had 20 seconds to study File A before closing the file.
They then studied File B for 20 seconds and were immediately tested on how many nouns they could remember from the file.
Only after this, they were tested on their memory for File A.
Importantly, in half of the trials, the students were told to save File A to a particular folder after studying it.
Students remembered more words from File B when they had saved File A than when they had simply closed it.
“We tend to think of forgetting as happening when memory fails, but research suggests that forgetting plays an essential role in supporting the adaptive functioning of memory and cognition,” Storm explained.
The study appeared in the journal Psychological Science. (IANS)