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Sleep promotes analogical transfer in problem solving

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2015
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)25-30
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/06/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Analogical problem solving requires using a known solution from one problem to apply to a related problem. Sleep is known to have profound effects on memory and information restructuring, and so we tested whether sleep promoted such analogical transfer, determining whether improvement was due to subjective memory for problems, subjective recognition of similarity across related problems, or by abstract generalisation of structure. In Experiment 1, participants were exposed to a set of source problems. Then, after a 12-h period involving sleep or wake, they attempted target problems structurally related to the source problems but with different surface features. Experiment 2 controlled for time of day effects by testing participants either in the morning or the evening. Sleep improved analogical transfer, but effects were not due to improvements in subjective memory or similarity recognition, but rather effects of structural generalisation across problems. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cognition, 143, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.06.005