I received a letter in the mail from you. What is the Infant Cognition Lab?
We are a developmental psychology research lab at UC Davis that studies child development. While infants and children normally come into our lab to participate in our studies, we are excited to announce that you can now participate in our research from home!
To provide parents with more insight to our research we created a newsletter to outline our research. These newsletters are mailed to potential participants as well as handed out by child-care providers, class instructors, and child-friendly shops. You were sent this flyer because you recently had a child born in the state of California within a short distance from our lab and we were hoping that you would be interested in bringing your child into our lab or other labs to participate in our research.
What happens at an in-lab appointment?
When you arrive at the lab, a research assistant will take you to our child-friendly waiting room and explain the goals of our studies as well as describe exactly what will happen during your visit. In addition, we ask you to sign informed consent regarding your child's participation in our research studies. We will provide ample time to make you comfortable and answer any questions or concerns that you might have.
Your infants and child would them participate in one or more of our studies described below!
Depending on the age of your child and the specific studies we are running at the time of your appointment, you and your child may participate in one or more procedures. You will be with your child throughout the entire appointment, which could range from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
What happens at an online appointment?
When you go to MIT's Lookit website, you can participate in studies using your computer and webcam from home at any time! Each of the studies are researching interesting things about babies' and children's development, so feel free to participate in as many as you like!
Your infant or child would then participate in one of our Looking Time studies described below!
You will need to make an account with Lookit to participate. Make sure to check that your child is the appropriate age for the study! All of the studies last from 5 to 15 minutes and you can pause or quit the study at any time.
Click here to go to Lookit!
Many of our studies involve infants sitting on their parent's lap and looking at different images or videos with sound on one or more computer screens. A small camera in the in the room records the infants' looking behavior. A researcher is seated out of sight and records the infant's reaction to these pictures. These studies can range from 2 to 15 minutes in length.
Other studies involve using an eye-tracker to follow the eye movements of infants while they are sitting on their parents' laps while looking at pictures on a computer screen. The eye-tracker uses the natural reflection of light off of the infant's eye to determine where exactly on the screen the infant is looking. These studies help us investigate how infants look at and learn about the different types of images or scenes, and can range from 5 to 15 minutes in length.
For some of our procedures, we’re interested in how well infants can sit on their own or how they interact with different toys. For these studies we sit infants on a blanket and either record how well they sit on their own (parents are nearby to assist infants if needed), or have them sit with parents and place an array of toys around them and record how they manipulate each toy.
During these studies, the experimenter sits across from infants and presents them with objects while we videotape their responses. Infants are allowed to play with the toys in any way they wish--they can look at them, chew on them, or toss them on the floor!