Adequate Napping in Childhood…

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in News | Comments Off on Adequate Napping in Childhood…

napAdequate napping plays key role in memory, learning development: study

Skipping nap time can be detrimental to early childhood memory development according to a new study.

Rebecca Gómez of the University of Arizona presented her new work on how sleep enable babies and young children to learn language over time at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting in Boston today.

“Sleep plays a crucial role in learning from early development,” Gómez says. Her research, part of a symposium on sleep and memory, examines how infants can recognize similar instances and apply previous knowledge to a new situation. Language examples include learning the same letter in different fonts, or understanding the same word said by different people.

Gómez’s work found that infants who napped were better able to apply previous lessons learned to new skills. In one study Gómez played infants an artificial language and tested whether the children recognized the new vocabulary after being awake or taking a nap. Babies who napped were able to apply the language rules they learned prior to napping and use them to recognize brand new sentences in the novel language.

The study also examined the relation of memory to sleep in preschoolers who it found were better able to retain what they had learned after napping. “Preschoolers with more mature memory structures do not appear to form generalizations during sleep; however, naps appear to be necessary for retaining a generalization they form before a nap,” Gómez says…  Read More