Title

Sleep after learning enhances flexibility of memory retrieval in 12-month-old infants

RIS ID

110817

Publication Details

Konrad, C., Herbert, J. S., Schneider, S., Lorek, S. & Seehagen, S. (2015). Sleep after learning enhances flexibility of memory retrieval in 12-month-old infants. Developmental Psychobiology, 57 (7), 872-873. San Sebastian, Spain 48th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology

Abstract

In the present study, we examined the effect of sleep on the flexibility of declarative memory retrieval using a deferred imitation paradigm (Barr et al., 1996; Hayne et al., 1997). Forty-one 12-month-old infants were randomly assigned to a nap condition, a no-nap condition, or a baseline control condition. In a demonstration session, infants in the nap and no-nap condition watched an experimenter perform three target actions on a hand puppet. To enhance encoding opportunities, infants were allowed to practice the target actions three times immediately afterwards (Hayne et al., 2003). Flexibility of memory retrieval was assessed in a test session 4-hr later with a puppet that was identical in shape but different in color from the one used during the demonstrations. Infants in the nap condition were scheduled to sleep (>30 min) during the 4-hr interval while infants in the no-nap condition were naturally scheduled to stay awake. Sleeping behavior was monitored using actigraphy. Infants in the baseline-control condition only saw the stimuli during the test session to assess spontaneous production of the target actions. The results indicate that only infants in the nap condition performed a significantly higher number of target actions at test than infants in the baseline-control condition, t(20.99)=-2.202, p=.039. Our results point towards a facilitative effect of sleep on the flexibility of memory retrieval in 12-month-old infants. This indicates that sleep dependent memory consolidation can change the quality of memory traces already in infants.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21339