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Announcing the Memprize winners!

By Memrise Blog

We’re very happy to announce the conclusion of the Memrise Prize competition, which was organised in collaboration with UCL to find the world’s most efficient and effective vocabulary learning technique.

The winning solution was developed by a team from Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Centre, based in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and tested on over 10,000 Memrise learners that volunteered to take part in the experiments.


Memprize Winners – Credit: Radboud University

The Memprize challenged the world’s top brain scientists to create their vision of the ultimate system for learning 80 foreign vocabulary items in an hour, with a test one week later. Participants included teams from MIT, the University of Oxford, Washington University in St. Louis, and Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

The winning learning method, which overall more than doubled memory performance compared to the standard technique of repeated study, was based on a clever combination of adaptive, repeated spaced retrieval and mental imagery. Volunteers were trained to use the concept of memory palaces to visualise words in certain rooms for later retrieval practice that was adaptive to their forgetting rate. Participants also found this method to be the most enjoyable of all submissions.

The Memprize winners are a research team who carried out their experiment at the Donders Institute for Brain and Cognition and the Behavioural Science Institute of Radboud University. The team was led by Gesa van den Broek, PhD Candidate and included Anke Marit Albers, Ruud Berkers, Paul Konstantin Gerke, Marlieke van Kesteren, Boris Konrad and Nils Müller.

The Memprize finalists were judged by a panel of distinguished cognitive scientists including: Prof. Robert Bjork, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UCLA and Dr. Yana Weinstein, Assistant Professor of Psychology at UMass Lowell.