What do the studies involve?

Our studies take the form of simple games that parents and children usually find fun and interesting. In our infant studies, your baby sits in an infant seat and is presented with displays consisting of objects or video animations. We measure your baby’s spontaneous reactions, such as how long your baby spends looking or reaching to each display. With older children, the studies are set up as interactive games and typically involve your child playing with small toys, learning names for novel objects, or playing guessing games with an experimenter.

How does this tell us what my baby knows?

Since babies typically look longer at things that they find new or surprising, we can make inferences about how they perceive and understand our displays by examining patterns of looking across a group of infants. For example, babies often look longer at events they find surprising or unexpected.

Will I receive the results of my child’s performance?

In general, we do not examine our data for individual differences and our studies do not inform us about the “intelligence” or abilities of any individual child. Rather, we study larger samples of children in order to learn about normally developing abilities across all children of a given age. Thus, although you will not receive the results of your child’s visit to the lab, you will receive a letter describing the findings of the study in which your child participated.

Will I be with my child while the study takes place?

Parents are with their children at all times

When are appointments scheduled?

We do our best to accommodate each family’s schedule. Most of our appointments are Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but the occasional weekend and evening appointments are available.

How long do studies take?

Each study takes about 15 minutes, but parents should plan on a 45-minute visit so that we have time for your child to get used to our playrooms, and so that we can fully explain the study to you and answer any questions you might have.

How many times will I be asked to participate?

Although many families enjoy returning to participate in different studies as their children grow, participation only requires a single visit and does not commit you to any other visits.

Can I bring my child’s older siblings with us?

If you have other children who would like to come along, we provide toys and friendly baby-sitters (who are typically Johns Hopkins undergraduates) for them as well.

Will my child’s name be shared with other labs or organizations?

No. Your child’s name and any other information you share with us will be completely confidential and will not be given to any other organizations.

How do I get to the lab? Is parking available?

We provide free parking for parents and will meet you in the parking lot to escort you and your child to the lab. We are located on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University. For your convenience, click here for directions and a map!

What if I have further questions?

We’d love to hear from you and to answer any questions you might have! Email us at infant.research@jhu.edu, or call us at (410) 516-6068.