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Everyone who learns- be it an actor learning lines or a teacher learning to teach key factors to students, or a musician learning music, has to sink the learning into his brain.

Previous studies and the current one show that when one learns a new task and then shortly follows it with learning a similar one, the second one usually interferes with and undermines the first one’s mastery.

A psychological study by the Brown University has found a solution to this. It suggests that over learning helps lock-in performance gains.

They found that learning for 20 minutes past the point of mastery, “locked in” that learning. It shielded it from the interference made by a new learning.

For some duration, the over learning of the first task even prevents the second one’s effective learning. The underlying neurophysiology is that a temporary shift in the balance of the neurotransmitters that controls neural flexibility occurs in the part of the brain where learning happened.

The study was conducted on a visual task. It holds true for learning other tasks like motor tasks as well, says Takeo Watanabe, the corresponding author. This has been published in the Natural Neuroscience journal.

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