While there is more pressure than ever on children to engage in activities and master their academic curricula, taking time out of the day for a nap increases children’s ability to learn. In a new study published in the PNAS, researchers tested 40 children in the morning by showing them a picture on a card, then flipping the card over and asking the child to remember its location on a grid. “At around 2 p.m., half the children were encouraged to nap, while the other half were given activities to keep them awake. The researchers re-tested the children after nap time, and again the next morning. All the children participated both as nappers and non-nappers.”
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The study found that children who took naps were better at remembering where the image on the card had been, suggesting their ability to retain information was aided by taking a nap. Nappers also scored higher on the test the following day. Rebecca Spencer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of the study said: “Children not only need to nap, but should be encouraged to nap. Schools are getting pressure to add curriculum and activities, but naps serve an academic function as well. A nap really supports the goals of preschool.”
Since 2011, the London agency has employed a team of “super-recognizers” who have an exceptional memory for faces. Despite their success, legal experts say their use could raise questions about what’s considered allowable testimony in court.