Retrieval Practice Is Effective Regardless of Self-Reported Need for Cognition - Behavioral and Brain Imaging Evidence

  title={Retrieval Practice Is Effective Regardless of Self-Reported Need for Cognition - Behavioral and Brain Imaging Evidence},
  author={Carola Wiklund-H{\"o}rnqvist and Sara Stillesj{\"o} and Micael Andersson and Bert Jonsson and Lars Nyberg},
  journal={Frontiers in Psychology},
There is an emerging consensus that retrieval practice is a powerful way to enhance long-term retention and to reduce achievement gaps in school settings. Less is known whether retrieval practice benefits performance in individuals with low intrinsic motivation to spend time and effort on a given task, as measured by self-reported need for cognition (NFC). Here, we examined retrieval practice in relation to individual differences in NFC by combining behavioral and functional magnetic resonance… 

Figures and Tables from this paper


Retrieval Practice: Beneficial for All Students or Moderated by Individual Differences?
Retrieval practice is a learning technique that is known to produce enhanced long-term memory retention when compared to several other techniques. This difference in learning outcome is commonly
Testing promotes long-term learning via stabilizing activation patterns in a large network of brain areas.
It is suggested that retrieval promotes learning via stabilizing cue-related activation patterns in a network of areas usually associated with cognitive and attentional control functions.
Neural activations associated with feedback and retrieval success
Investigation of functional brain activity related to test-enhanced learning with feedback found up-regulated activity in fronto-striatal regions was evident at the first successful retrieval with a marked decrease across consecutive tests, indicating that while both feedback and retrieval success are key aspects that foster the “testing effect”; they operate at different functional levels in the brain.
Benefits from retrieval practice are greater for students with lower working memory capacity
Final cued recall performance was better for tested items than for restudied items after both 10 minutes and 2 days, particularly for longer study–test lags.
Retrieval practice as a learning strategy for individuals with Down syndrome A preliminary study
The data suggest that retrieval practice can be a useful teaching tool for at least part of this population of individuals with Down syndrome, although more research is needed before it can be recommended as a learning strategy for individuals with down syndrome.
No relation of Need for Cognition to basic executive functions.
Two studies add to more recent findings that shape the understanding of NFC as a trait that is less characterized by increased cognitive control abilities but rather by increased willingness to invest effort and exert self-control via motivational processes.
Neurocognitive mechanisms of the “testing effect”: A review