Back in 1980 two French education psychologists, Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, observed children learning, and saw two groups: one group learned quickly but the learning was in context; when the context was removed the kids had a harder time recalling the information. The other group learned with difficulty (or at least slower) but what they learned could more easily be applied to other contexts. They used the term "rhizomal" for the first group, referring to the way ivy grows by extending tendrils which then set down roots and spread from there. The second group they called "arborescent" referring to the branching of a tree, where information was organized in roughly binary branches, and one branch is "visible" to another. 

In 1996 a psychologist named Elaine Aron in The Highly Sensitive Person identified the traits of the 15-20% of the population who are natively more sensitive to physical stimuli. A consequence of this sensitivity is the need to process information more deeply, to make sense of it. Deep processing means it takes more time to understand what is taught, but once understood, it has a wide breadth of application. 

I think both theories are describing the same phenomenon.