Consolidation is the process by which short-term memories are transformed into long-term memories.
Physiologically, this process is accomplished by rearranging and modifying the electro-chemical connections in your brain. Feeding this process requires focused attention on what you want to learn, repeated exposure, and time for your brain to change. Here some very important insights regarding consolidation:
- You have to pay attention to what you want to learn.
- You may have to repeat your exposure to what you are trying to learn, paying attention several to many times.
- Learning may not occur immediately. It may take a few seconds to a few minutes for simple things… to a few days or weeks for complex things.
- In many ways, your brain is like a muscle… If you use it, it gets tired. It needs time to rest and repair and rebuild itself.
- Parts of your brain can become saturated with new information. Once that happens, more learning will not occur.
- Sleep is the best consolidation time there is. The prime time for your brain to catch up on and permanently store what it learned today is while you are sleeping!
- Each and every day presents a potential consolidation cycle, consisting of the alternating activities of studying using focused attention and brain-restructuring sleep.
- Study and Practice are most effective when distributed over time. Five minutes a day, every day, is generally better that five hours once a week!