Researchers at Herriott-Watt University have discovered that a period of rest immediately after being presented with a lot of new material helps to consolidate it in the memory.

Subjects were read a story and then half were sent off to just lie quietly in a darkened room, without their mobile phones, and let their minds wander for ten minutes. The other half had their attention immediately focussed on a spot the difference game.

The first group, when tested a week later, remembered 10% more of the story than the second group.

This should of course be of interest to those running events where retention of material presented is important, and these could be events put on for sales or marketing purposes as well as the obvious area of training.

So will we now see event programmes adjusted to give the delegates ten important minutes of quiet reflection every hour with the lights out and no noise or interruptions, to maximise memory consolidation? Or are we still into cramming as much stuff into their heads as possible?

You do have a choice.

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