Melody Wiseheart

Melody Wiseheart
York University · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

60
Publications
40,888
Reads
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6,834
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
3806 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
July 2006 - present
York University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Spaced learning—the spacing effect—is a cognitive phenomenon whereby memory for to-be-learned material is better when a fixed amount of study time is spread across multiple learning sessions instead of crammed into a more condensed time period. The spacing effect has been shown to be effective across a wide range of ages and learning materials, but...
Article
Full-text available
People are slower when shifting than repeating tasks (switch cost). A considerable portion of the switch cost is due to the possibility of a shift in a mixed block where switches are possible (mixing cost), and to processing a cue that signals a task change (cue switch cost). We use an online sample (n = 12,533) and double cuing paradigm to examine...
Article
Full-text available
The spacing effect refers to the improvement in memory retention for materials learned in a series of sessions, as opposed to massing learning in a single session. It has been extensively studied in the domain of verbal learning using word lists. Less evidence is available for connected discourse or tasks requiring the complex coordination of verba...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The present study explores the effect of visual art training on people with dementia, utilizing a randomized control trial design, in order to investigate the effects of an 8-week visual art training program on cognition. In particular, the study examines overall cognition, delayed recall, and working memory, which show deficits in peopl...
Article
The spacing effect refers to the finding that, given a fixed amount of study time, a longer interval between study repetitions improves long-term retention (e.g., Cepeda et al., 2006; Ebbinghaus, 1885/1967; Melton, 1970). Although the spacing effect is a robust and reliable finding in the memory literature, its cognitive and neural mechanisms remai...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the prevalence of the spacing effect in the psychological literature, the impact of lesson timing has not yet been fully explored in real classrooms. The current study examined whether spacing could improve long‐term retention of both factual and critical thinking curriculum‐based teaching materials for children. Students 9‐ to 12‐years‐old...
Article
The Cambridge Handbook of Cognition and Education - edited by John Dunlosky February 2019
Article
Many studies have shown that repetition of study material with temporal gaps between the repetitions (i.e., spaced in time) is more effective for long-term retention than are repetitions in immediate succession (i.e., massed; Greene, 1989). Although this spacing effect has proven to be robust in the laboratory (Cepeda, Pashler, Vul, Wixted, & Rohre...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated whether long-term experience in music or a second language is associated with enhanced cognitive functioning. Early studies suggested the possibility of a cognitive advantage from musical training and bilingualism but have failed to be replicated by recent findings. Further, each form of expertise has been independent...
Article
Full-text available
Musical training is popularly believed to improve children’s cognitive ability. Early research evidence, mostly correlational, suggested that musicians outperform nonmusicians on many cognitive abilities. However, recent experimental evidence has failed to replicate most benefits, leaving it unclear whether previously demonstrated effects were a di...
Article
Objectives: Although the spacing effect has been investigated extensively in a variety of populations, few studies have focused on individuals with hippocampal amnesia and none, to our knowledge, have investigated differences in performance as a function of spacing schedule in these cases. In the current study, we investigated the benefit of expan...
Article
Full-text available
Spacing effects during retention of verbal information are easily obtained, and the effect size is large. Relatively little evidence exists on whether motor skill retention benefits from distributed practice, with even less evidence on complex motor skills. We taught a 17-note musical sequence on a piano to individuals without prior formal training...
Article
Age-related memory change has been a topic of much investigation in recent years, including spacing benefits and reliance on contextual cues. We manipulated the spacing schedule and the context of learning and observed the effects on long-term recall ability in healthy older and younger adults. After learning Swahili-English word pairs, half practi...
Article
Full-text available
Yoga, an ancient Indian healing tradition, has been shown to provide a wide range of physical, psychological, and emotional benefits to general and clinical populations. Recent research suggests that yoga may also enhance cognitive health, in particular, sustained attention abilities (Hogasandra & Ganapat, 2013). The effect of yoga on other cogniti...
Article
One hundred and sixty-eight young adult participants were classified as monolingual or bilingual and as having a previously reported clinical diagnosis of ADHD or not to create four groups. All participants completed tests of language proficiency, ADHD ratings, and executive control. Both bilingualism and ADHD are generally associated with poorer v...
Article
Full-text available
Processing speed is an important contributor to working memory performance and fluid intelligence in young children. Myelinated white matter plays a central role in brain messaging, and likely mediates processing speed, but little is known about the relationship between myelination and processing speed in young children. In the present study, proce...
Article
Many bilinguals routinely switch between their languages, yet mixed evidence exists about the transfer of language switching skills to broader domains that require attentional control such as task switching. Monolingual and bilingual young adults performed a nonverbal task-switching paradigm in which they viewed colored pictures of animals and indi...
Article
This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were...
Article
Full-text available
Laboratory and applied learning experiments have extensively investigated the optimal distribution of two learning sessions (i.e., initial learning and one relearning session) for the learning of verbatim material. However, research has not yet provided a satisfying and conclusive answer to the optimal scheduling of three learning sessions (i.e., i...
Article
Objective: The spacing effect describes the typical finding that repeated items are remembered best when additional items are introduced between each repetition than when the repetitions occur in immediate succession. In this study, we investigated the nature and limits of the spacing effect in the developmental amnesic case H.C. Method: In Expe...
Article
Introduces the current issue of Zeitschrift für Psychologie, which discusses the field of applied memory research. Mirroring the early days of experimental psychology, the editor sampled a wide variety of subject areas, both within and outside mainstream psychology. The end result covers learning and memory within the field of educational psycholog...
Article
Full-text available
Laptops are commonplace in university classrooms. In light of cognitive psychology theory on costs associated with multitasking, we examined the effects of in-class laptop use on student learning in a simulated classroom. We found that participants who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to those who did not mul...
Article
Many studies have shown that memory is enhanced when study sessions are spaced apart rather than massed. This spacing effect has been shown to have a lasting benefit to long-term memory when the study phase session follows the encoding session by 24 hours. Using a spacing paradigm we examined the impact of sleep and spacing gaps on long-term declar...
Article
The rate at which people process information appears to influence many aspects of cognition across the lifespan. However, many commonly accepted measures of 'processing speed' may require goal maintenance, manipulation of information in working memory, and decision-making, blurring the distinction between processing speed and executive control and...
Article
Objectives: Age-related changes in memory performance are common in paired associate episodic memory tasks, although the deficit can be ameliorated with distributed practice. Benefits of learning episode spacing in older adults have been shown in single-session studies with spaced presentations of items followed by a test. This study examined the...
Article
Full-text available
Every day, students and instructors are faced with the decision of when to study information. The timing of study, and how it affects memory retention, has been explored for many years in research on human learning. This research has shown that performance on final tests of learning is improved if multiple study sessions are separated—i.e., “spaced...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have designed training methods that can be used to improve mental health and to test the efficacy of education programs. However, few studies have demonstrated broad transfer from such training to performance on untrained cognitive activities. Here we report the effects of two interactive computerized training programs developed for pre...
Article
As a primary goal, educators often strive to maximize the amount of information pupils remember. In the lab, psychologists have found efficient memory strategies for retaining school-related materials. One such strategy is the spacing effect, a memory advantage that occurs when learning is distributed across time instead of crammed into a single st...
Article
Full-text available
Taking a test has been shown to produce enhanced retention of the retrieved information. On tests, however, students often encounter questions the answers for which they are unsure. Should they guess anyway, even if they are likely to answer incorrectly? Or are errors engrained, impairing subsequent learning of the correct answer? We sought to answ...
Article
Laboratory studies show that retention of information can be powerfully enhanced through testing, but evidence for their utility to promote long-term retention of course information is limited. We assessed 8th grade students' retention of U.S. history facts. Facts were reviewed after 1 week, 16 weeks or not reviewed at all. Some facts were reviewed...
Article
People often perseverate, repeating outdated behaviors despite correctly answering questions about rules they should be following. Children who perseverate are slower to respond to such questions than children who successfully switch to new rules, even after controlling for age and processing speed. Thus, switchers may have stronger working memory...
Article
More than a century of research shows that increasing the gap between study episodes using the same material can enhance retention, yet little is known about how this so-called distributed practice effect unfolds over nontrivial periods. In two three-session laboratory studies, we examined the effects of gap on retention of foreign vocabulary, fact...
Conference Paper
When individuals learn facts (e.g., foreign language vocabulary) over multiple study sessions, the temporal spacing of study has a significant impact on memory retention. Behavioral experiments have shown a nonmonotonic relationship be- tween spacing and retention: short or long intervals between study sessions yield lower cued-recall accuracy than...
Chapter
When individuals learn facts (e.g., foreign language vocab-ulary) over multiple sessions, the durability of learning is strongly influenced by the temporal distribution of study (Cepeda, Pashler, Vul, Wixted, & Rohrer, 2006). Computa-tional models have been developed to explain this phenomenon known as the distributed practice effect. These models...
Article
To achieve enduring retention, people must usually study information on multiple occasions. How does the timing of study events affect retention? Prior research has examined this issue only in a spotty fashion, usually with very short time intervals. In a study aimed at characterizing spacing effects over significant durations, more than 1,350 indi...
Article
Full-text available
Children sometimes have trouble switching from one task to another, despite demonstrating an awareness of current task demands. This behavior could reflect problems either directly inhibiting previously relevant information or sufficiently activating graded working me mory representations forthe current task. We tested competing predictions from ea...
Article
The authors discuss the effects of bilingualism on cognitive skills, such as problem-solving, task switching, and ignoring irrelevant information, and health, including the onset of dementia during aging. They also examine the types of cognitive skills that are and are not likely to benefit from bilingualism.
Article
Our research on learning enhancement has been focusing on the consequences for learning and forgetting of some of the more obvious and concrete choices that arise in instruction, including questions such as these: How does spacing of practice affect retention of information over significant retention intervals (up to 1 year)? Do spacing effects gen...
Article
Full-text available
The authors performed a meta-analysis of the distributed practice effect to illuminate the effects of temporal variables that have been neglected in previous reviews. This review found 839 assessments of distributed practice in 317 experiments located in 184 articles. Effects of spacing (consecutive massed presentations vs. spaced learning episodes...
Article
Once material has been learned to a criterion of one perfect trial, further study within the same session constitutes overlearning. Although overlearning is a popular learning strategy, its effect on long-term retention is unclear. In two experiments presented here, 218 college students learned geography facts (Experiment 1) or word definitions (Ex...
Article
Some researchers have suggested that although feedback may enhance performance during associative learning, it does so at the expense of later retention. To examine this issue, subjects (N = 258) learned Luganda-English word pairs. After 2 initial exposures to the materials, subjects were tested on each item several times, with the presence and typ...
Article
To examine the specificity of methylphenidate effects on the processes that support the ability to rapidly and accurately coordinate the performance of multiple tasks in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Twenty children with ADHD performed the task-switching paradigm while on and off medication. The paradigm involves sw...
Article
A study was conducted to examine changes in executive control processes over the life span. More specifically, changes in processes responsible for preparation and interference control that underlie the ability to flexibly alternate between two different tasks were examined. Individuals (N = 152) ranging in age from 7 to 82 years participated in th...
Article
Performance deteriorates when subjects must shift between two different tasks relative to performing either task separately. This switching cost is thought to result from executive processes that are not inherent to the component operations of either task when performed alone. Medial and dorsolateral frontal cortices are theorized to subserve these...
Thesis
Full-text available
Theories of cognitive development and aging suggest that age-related changes in one or more general abilities are sufficient to account for changes in cognitive processing across the life-span. Empirical studies demonstrate that specific abilities, in addition to general processing changes, are needed to account for age-related changes during perfo...
Article
The main goal of the present set of studies was to examine the efficiency of executive control processes and, more specifically, the control processes involved in task set inhibition and preparation to perform a new task in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and non-ADHD children. This was accomplished by having ADHD children, both on...
Article
This study assessed delays in physical growth and sexual maturation, self-esteem and body image in youth with homozygous sickle hemoglobin disease (HgbSS). A consecutive sample of 30 subjects age 8 through 19 with homozygous sickle cell disease (hemoglobin SS) and a similar number of control subjects matched for age, race, gender and socioeconomic...
Article
The same-object benefit, that is faster and/or more accurate performance when two target properties to be identified appear on one object than when each of the properties appear on different objects, has been a robust and theoretically important finding in the study of attentional selection. Indeed, the same-object benefit has been interpreted to s...
Article
The allocation of spatial attention was measured with detection probes at different locations. Response times were faster for probes at the location of the target digit, which subjects reported, than at the locations of distractor digits, which they ignored. Probes at blank locations between stimuli produced fast responses, indicating that selectio...
Article
Observers briefly viewed random dots moving in a given direction and subsequently recalled that direction. When required to remember a single direction, observers performed accurately for memory intervals of up to 8 s; this high-fidelity memory for motion was maintained when observers executed a vigilance task during the memory interval. When obser...
Article
1. The hypoglossal nucleus unitary correlates of ketamine- and electrically induced tongue contractions and swallowing events were recorded and compared in stereotaxically mounted rats. 2. Very few of the units recorded could be identified as motoneurons by antidromic invasion through electrical stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve. 3. The sample c...

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Projects (3)
Project
Investigate whether the spacing effect benefits critical thinking skills. Includes classroom-based randomized controlled trials of the spacing effect.