A goal of all instruction is to efficiently allocate time spent teaching -- balancing redundancy that enhances learning with redundancy that is irrelevant to increasing student understanding. Efficient allocation of time allows the instructor to present additional material and go into more detail about the information being presented. Here we borrow laboratory research on concept formation and apply these formal principles in teaching introductory neuroanatomy within a lecture course on Behavioral Neuroscience. Concept formation is taught by pairing multiple stimuli, for instance brain name, location, and function, in such a way that novel associations within a category emerge without direct training. This study demonstrates that careful selection of associations by the instructor can encourage the spontaneous emergence of novel associations within a concept or category, thereby increasing efficiency of teaching and by extension, the depth of material that can be taught.
Pytte, C. L., Fienup, D. M. (2012). Using Equivalence-Based Instruction to Increase Efficiency in Teaching Neuroanatomy. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 10(2), A125-A131.