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Ayanna Thomas, PhD, associate professor of psychology(MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass., Nov. 24, 2016)—Learning by taking practice tests, a strategy known as retrieval practice, can protect memory against the negative effects of stress, report scientists from Tufts University in a new study published in Scienceon Nov. 25.

In experiments involving 120 student participants, individuals who learned a series of words and images by retrieval practice showed no impairment in memory after experiencing acute stress. Participants who used study practice, the conventional method of re-reading material to memorize it, remembered fewer items overall, particularly after stress.

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