New memories are labile. If you learn a sequence of finger taps, and soon after you learn a second sequence, the skills (speed and accuracy) of the first sequence is disrupted by interference.
Over a period of several hours, the memory undergoes consolidation, making it resistant against interference. Now learning a second sequence will not disrupt the first.
Surprisingly after a memory has been consolidated, brief rehearsel returns the memory into a labile state. Normally rehearsel would refine the learnt sequence. However this can also have negative consequences. After a brief rehearsel of sequence 1, the memory becomes labile. If you you then practice sequence 2, the skills of sequence 1 will be reduced.
Memories improve during sleep. The performance of a learnt motor skill is enhanced during the night.
I have done quite a few experiments lately to find out what's the best schedule. Those experiments revealed a lot of delusions in my thinking about memory. I always thought it would be best to wait untill a memory has sunken into the mud before you rehearse it. But that's not how it works best. The brains learn best when it is in a labile state. So the first session I train, I do the problemset 4-5 times in a row, until I can do them without thinking. The second training session must follow before the memory is forgotten! Typical whithin 24 hours. Here is where spaced repetition comes in. In the second session I repeat the set 1-2 times, until I can do it without thinking. The third session must be done too before the memory has faded. And so on.
Since a few days I work according to this scheme. I'll keep you informed about the results.
The discussion about socks and amount of patterns hasn't lead to a definite conclusion yet. It's time to think it over and work thinks out. You can't sow and harvest on the same day as an old chinese saying goes.
A Single Defining Moment
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