Learn Skills Faster: Change Up Your Practice Routine


Washington: Tweak your practice routine to learn and improve a skill faster, a recent study has suggested.

In the Johns Hopkins study of 86 healthy volunteers asked to learn a computer-based motor skill, those who quickly adjusted to a modified practice session the second time around performed better than when repeating their original task, the researchers found.

The results support the idea that a process called reconsolidation, in which existing memories are recalled and modified with new knowledge, plays a key role in the strengthening of motor skills, says senior study author Pablo A. Celnik.

The work has implications not only for leisure skills, like learning to play a musical instrument or a sport, but also for helping patients with stroke and other neurological conditions regain lost motor function, he says. Celnik said that the alterations in training have to be small. The study is published in the journal Current Biology.