Naps play a crucial role in helping infants and preschoolers remember things they’ve just learned, according to new research.
Investigators examined young children’s ability to recognize instances that are similar, but not identical, to something they’ve recently learned and apply it to a new situation, a skill called generalization.
In language, this would include being able to distinguish a grammatical pattern in a sentence they’d never heard before, or to understand a word no matter who says it, the study authors explained.
Experiments showed that language generalization was better in infants and preschoolers after they had naps, according to the findings presented Tuesday at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting in Boston.
“Sleep is essential for extending learning to new examples,” researcher Rebecca Gomez, of the University of Arizona, said in a society news release. “Naps soon after learning appear to be particularly important for generalization of knowledge in infants and preschoolers.”
Another study presented at the meeting found that adequate sleep helps adults remember their future intentions.
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SOURCE: WebMD News from HealthDay