ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (7): 1151-1159.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01151

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The Neural Correlates of Retrieval Practice in Learning and Memory Retention

LIANG Xiuling1,2; LI Peng3; CHEN Qingfei3; LEI Yi3; LI Hong3   

  1. (1 College of Psychology, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China) (2 Research Centre of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University; Dalian 116029, China) (3 Research Centre for Brain Function and Psychological Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China)
  • Received:2014-07-30 Online:2015-07-15 Published:2015-07-15
  • Contact: LEI Yi, E-mail: leiyi821@


Previous studies have shown that retrieval practice led to greater retention than repeated studying. Recent fMRI studies provide insight by showing that several enhanced brain regions associated with retrieval practice but not with restudying, such as the inferior frontal cortex, inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal areas and parts of subcortical brain regions. Increased activity in these areas during retrieval practice can predict the final performance. It is assumed that the process of retrieval practice involved more mental resources. On the basis of working memory, the retrieval practice was regarded as a systematic representation of semantic relation, including acquisition, processing, integration and consolidation process. In fact, retrieval practice not only makes full use of the cognitive and affective, cortical and subcortical functions, but also plays the advantages of semantic and episodic memory to facilitate learning and memory.

Key words: retrieval practice, testing effect, fMRI, neuro-cognitive mechanism, learning and memory