Researchers have now revealed the most effective way to remember a poem or a lesson. They suggest that repeating it aloud while addressing another person may be the most effective way to recall it.
Victor Boucher from University of Montreal in Canada said, "We knew that repeating aloud was good for memory, but this is the first study to show that if it is done in a context of communication, the effect is greater in terms of information recall."
For the study, the research team asked 44 French-speaking university students to read a series of lexemes on a screen. During the task, the study participants wore headphones that emitted 'white noise' to mask their own voices and eliminate auditory feedback. The participants had to perform four experimental conditions- repeating in their head, repeating silently while moving their lips, repeating aloud while looking at the screen, and finally, repeating aloud while addressing someone.
After a distraction task, the participants were asked to identify the lexemes they recalled having said from a list that included lexemes not used in the test. The results suggested a clear difference when the exercise was performed aloud in the presence of someone else, even though the participants had heard absolutely nothing, while repeating in one's head without gesturing was found to be the least effective way to recall information.
Boucher further said, "The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more."
The study will be published in a forthcoming issue of Consciousness and Cognition.