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Can ‘Zoning Out’ Help Your Memory?

Can 'Zoning Out' Improve Your Memory?
Matt Cardy, Getty Images

According to a new study published in the journal Psychological Science, wakeful resting — otherwise known as “spacing out” — can actually improve memory. So, the next time somebody accuses you of not listening, just say you’re boosting your memory and there’s science to prove it.

In the study, researchers read two short stories to a group of 33 people. After the first story, test subjects were encouraged to sit in a room with their eyes closed. After the second story, participants were asked to play a computer game.

As it turns out, people were able to recall more details from the first story even after seven days had passed. Researchers say the brain replays information after learning something new in order to form a memory. But if something interrupts this process, such as additional information, recall can be impacted.

So, in order to commit something to memory, take a moment to reflect after you’ve learned something new. Just be sure not to immediately take in new information, researchers say, or it may all turn to mush.

[NBC News]

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