The Role of Sleep and Variability in Three Year Old Verb Learning
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAt a young age children are able to acquire new verbs constantly. Two factors influencing this ability are of particular interest to this paper: variability and sleep. Previous studies have shown that toddlers can extend a verb to a novel actor when variability at training is minimal (Maguire et al. 2008) and that naps improve generalization (Gomez et al. 2006). Two groups of children (those who nap regularly and those who do not) were taught two new nonword verbs during training. One or four actors performed the new verbs. After training, participants either took a nap or stayed awake. Twenty-four hours later, during the test phase, participants saw two clips played side by side simultaneously. Each clip was of one of the verb learned. Participants were then asked to point to the girl who is, for example, "blicking". Children who napped after training did better on the Memory Test than those who did not. No group differences in regards to sleep after training were found for the Generalization Test. We can conclude from this that naps may boost memory of new verbs, if not the ability to generalize them.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences