Words to Sleep On: Naps Facilitate Verb Generalization in Habitually and Nonhabitually Napping Preschoolers

Michelle Sandoval, Julia A. Leclerc, Rebecca L. Gómez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


A nap soon after encoding leads to better learning in infancy. However, whether napping plays the same role in preschoolers' learning is unclear. In Experiment 1 (N = 39), 3-year-old habitual and nonhabitual nappers learned novel verbs before a nap or a period of wakefulness and received a generalization test examining word extension to novel actors after 24 hr. Only habitual and nonhabitual nappers who napped after learning generalized 24 hr later. In Experiment 2 (N = 40), children learned the same verbs but were tested within 2–3 min of training. Here, habitual and nonhabitual nappers retained the mappings but did not generalize. The results suggest that naps consolidate weak learning that habitual and nonhabitual nappers would otherwise forget over periods of wakefulness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1628
Number of pages14
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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