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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Naps have been shown to benefit declarative memories in early childhood. This benefit has been associated with sleep spindles during the nap. However, whether young children’s naps and their accompanying physiology benefit other forms of declarative learning is unknown. Using a novel storybook task, we found performance was better following a nap compared to performance following an equivalent interval spent awake. Moreover, performance was better the following day if a nap followed learning. Further, change in post-nap performance was positively associated to the amount of time spent in slow wave sleep. This suggests that slow wave sleep in naps may support episodic memory consolidation in early childhood. Taken in conjunction with prior work, these results suggest that multiple features of brain physiology during naps may contribute to declarative memory processing in early childhood.


First Advisor

Rebecca M.C. Spencer

Second Advisor

Jennifer McDermott

Third Advisor

David Arnold

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Harvey