Revising learned information sooner than about 3.5 hours can negatively effect recall and change the memory itself.
So overlearning, doing ‘all nighters’ or trying hard to learn something is the very thing that stops you from consolidating a new learning into long term memory accurately.
Perception of details in this experiment were altered and therefore confusion and errors became more common when people were asked to recall a memory sooner than the 3.5 hour mark.
Research into visual perception shows that the brain goes into a more ‘plastic’ state (IE: open to change) for memories not only in the 3.5 hours after first learning a new skill or perceptual distinction; but the same occurs for the 3.5 hours after recalling or rehearsing the skill or perception later.
IE: The brain is suggestible each time you recall a memory.
Helps explain why people witnessing the same event can later recall it differently.
Open to abuse too I bet.
This means that on the positive side.., that 3.5 hours after learning or recalling is the ideal time to make mental and physical adjustments if you got it wrong.
On the negative side it means that trying to improve on a task done well too soon can undo the good work and learning already accomplished, wasting time and effectiveness.
So stop trying so hard. Let your brain and SLEEP do the work.