This question is inspired by In Search of Memory by Eric Kandel where he references a study on long-term memory. I have searched for a study online which can answer my question, but have not been successful. Here is my question.

In the sensitive time period wherein the conversion of short-term memory into long-term memory takes place, what is the relationship or disruption which will occur in this conversion if the person is to study a different subject?

Kandel quote's an experiment conducted by an individual to study the conversion from short term to long term memory. The person wanting to mitigate the influence of pre-established associations decides to memorize thousands of nonsensical 3 letter words such as PAX, AUT, etc... They come to the now well known conclusions: the primary loss of memory occurs in the first hours and tapers off over the course of days and weeks. Furthermore it is much better to study over several smaller sessions than one long sessions.

A follow up study discovers there is a limit to the amount of short-term memory which can be converted into long-term memory at a single time, and it is sensitive to disruption. Two groups are requested to memorize a list of nonsensical words so they can recite them the next day. The first group is allowed to memorize the list and 2 hours later is presented with a second list. The second group is allowed to memorize the list, but is immediately presented with a second list. The first group succeeds in reciting the first list the next day, but the second group fails indicating the conversion had been oversaturated or disrupted.

However it is also mentioned in the book short-term memories and long-term memories are generally stored in the locations of the brain they are processed. This led me to wonder whether memorizing a completely different task would not of mitigated or altogether avoided the disruption. But for all I know this is completely wrong.



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