DAVIS (CBS13) – Toddlers do have the ability to remember and have memory recall.

A UC Davis study found sleeping two-year-olds can remember songs they’ve heard before. Researchers played songs while the children played with a stuffed dog in a lab. When it came time to fall asleep, the researchers put them in an MRI scanner and observed their hippocampus, the small part of the brain responsible for forming and recalling memories.

Once sleeping, the researchers played recordings of the songs the children heard earlier, along with songs the children hadn’t heard.

Brain scans showed activity in the hippocampus, meaning the children recalled a memory of those songs.

Credit: UC Davis

Once awake, the children were asked if they could remember where they had heard the song, and what toy they were playing with when they heard it for the first time, known as episodic memory. The researchers again tested the children’s hippocampus and found a strong signal when the children heard a familiar song.

The full study is published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.