The brain doesn't take orders well. "You can tell it to remember the major players in the settling of Manhattan, stress how crucially important that is, and on the test a week later very little comes back. And yet you might remember nearly every player in the San Francisco Giant's Game 7 World Series victory. Why? Because the brain doesn't listen to what you say; it watches what you do. And thinking often aboutMadison Bumgarner pitching, talking about the game, arguing about it: These are mental actions as well as subtle forms of testing knowledge." Benedict Carey's recent NYT article argues that if you vary a learner's testing strategies, then the learner's brain will be convinced that the knowledge is useful and when it comes time for the final examination, the learner's brain will remember the knowledge just like some brains remember every play in Game 7 of the World Series.
An exotic learning machine
Jan 16, 2015