Livia De La Rosa
Class of 2025Miami Beach, Florida
AboutHi there! My name is Livia De La Rosa and my project focuses on active recall and its effects on neural activity in relation to memory. I chose this project because I am passionate about neuroscience and implementing it to improve students' daily lives. Once my research is complete, I would like to disseminate the findings and help students into finding what technique(s) works best for them to improve their academic journey.
- "To what extent does active recall impact the brain in heutagogic activity? How can active recall assist in memory and learning among students? In what ways does active recall stimulate the brain to improve memory and learning among students?" with mentor Sarah (Jan. 15, 2024)
To what extent does active recall impact the brain in heutagogic activity? How can active recall assist in memory and learning among students? In what ways does active recall stimulate the brain to improve memory and learning among students?
Started June 29, 2023
Abstract or project description
Active recall is a study technique where a student extracts information from their memory through repeated retrieval practices, (e.g. flashcards and practice questions). The study techniques that fall under active recall require the brain to reinforce prior knowledge through contextual cues that enhance learning. To date, there are no systematic reviews synthesizing the effects of active recall on learning outcomes and how this impacts the human brain. This synthesis explores how active recall assists in memory and learning among students. We then investigate how active recall affects neural activity related to memory and learning by connecting work related to brain mechanisms and learning outcomes. Lastly, we give feedback on how to build on existing work and address gaps in the literature. By conducting a literature review, we integrate different perspectives of knowledge involving active recall to deduce its benefits. The literature involved in this synthesis includes observational studies where test groups involving students using active recall are compared to control groups where students use passive studying. To measure the efficacy of active recall in comparison to passive techniques (e.g. memorizing and rereading notes), outcomes of memory retention are observed through scores which are then compared to find which method is more effective. To investigate neural activity, we include laboratory studies using fMRI and EEG to examine blood flow and electrical activity in the brain. Neuroimaging provided in the literature shows that multiple parts of the brain participate in memory retrieval such as the frontal lobe, FFA (fusiform face area), thalamus, hippocampus, and putamen. Increased alpha wave power is associated with recall and effective memory encoding, suggesting that retrieval methods may help build on efficient studying among students. We find that, in observational studies, active recall repeatedly shows higher scores in learning and memory in comparison to passive study methods. Even when metacognitive predictions are higher when using passive methods, active recall returns superior scores, which suggests that most students are not aware of active recall as a plausible studying method. We conclude that active recall is a way to enhance learning and should be implemented into the general school curriculum.