- Active learning, that is, done through volunteer work, is more effective and increases memory mobilization.
- This active learning in the brain’s hippocampus generates the theta phase code that promotes fixation and retrieval of information.
- Not only does this discovery have educational implications, but it can also help improve lost memories or erase traumatic memories.
Including greater investment and knowledge sharing, active learning occurs through the volunteer work of the person wanting to learn. This means that there is an alteration of attention, stimulation, and cognitive control which makes the process more efficient. Therefore, active learning is more efficient, because memory is beneficial. However, so far, the physiological processes It involves an active learning process Not clear.
A new study conducted by an international group of researchers, and Published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) Sheds light for the first time on this cognitive mechanism in humans. According to their authors, the key lies in the oscillations Theta waves generated by the hippocampus From the human brain, while the brain is the one that controls the learning process.
How individual freedom enhances memory
To reach this conclusion, researchers recruited epilepsy patients and asked them to participate in a virtual reality game. They were navigating a square path and had to remember pictures of objects displayed in various places on the path. Mobility can be active, that is, participants freely control their movements, or passive, if another subject plans the course and, accordingly, decides the order of exposure to the knock. Pictures. In this second method, people had no control over how dispersed objects were saved in the virtual environment.
The researchers measured the electrical activity of the hippocampus and tested object recognition at the end of the experiment. Thus they were able to verify the importance of active learning in each of the participants. Then they noticed that in people with active mobility, “An increase in theta oscillations was identified, making subsequent learning and memory more efficient.”. They also define two consecutive phenomena, separated in milliseconds: “One corresponds to encoding the information, and the other to recover previously stored information: Reactivate the memory”Dr. Daniel Pacheco, first author of the study, details.
In fact, people who could freely navigate the virtual environment preferred the theta phase code which favors stabilization and retrieval of information.
Multiple practical applications are possible
For researchers, the practical applications of this discovery are manifold Emphasizes experimentally that elements such as motivation, cognitive control, and the ability to make decisions on his own are essential for effective learning. In addition to being applied in education to enhance effective learning, it may allow, by manipulating the theta oscillation, Modifying traumatic memories or improving lost memories due to memory loss or neurodegenerative diseases.