The effect of sleep on
working memory in children and adults
March 14 2018
The purpose of this study was to see how sleep effects working memory in both children and adults and to see how those results compare to each other. The researchers hypothesized that the enhancing effect of sleep on working memory performance will have a larger impact on children due to them still developing, in comparison to adults. The researchers also hypothesize that both groups will see improvement in performance across the training sessions. Sleep plays a huge role is allowing people the ability to remember information long term. Whether sleep plays the same important role in gaining information through our thoughts, experiences, and senses relating to working memory is still something these researchers are wanting to look into. Working memory allows people to hold onto information without losing track of what they are doing. It isn’t just for short-term memory as it also helps the brain organize new information for long term storage.
Participants were trained on different tasks which consisted of different levels of difficulties and were separated between three sessions in the morning and evening. The tests consisted of twenty-four children, thirteen females and eleven males with the age ranging between ten and twelve. There were also twenty-four adults, twenty-one females and three males with the age ranging from nineteen to thirty-one. The children were called upon in their local schools and the adults were asked through forms of social media if they wanted to be included in the study. Half the children and adults were randomly assigned to the morning session, and the others were assigned to the evening sessions. To exercise the working memory of each person, the researchers used a computerized visualization version of an n-back test. The test would consist of four circles and the subjects were told to press the button that related to the ora...