What happens when I bring my baby in to participate?

We will meet you in the lobby of Haskins Laboratories, located on the 9th floor of 300 George Street, New Haven. You can find more detailed directions to our building here. We will take you and your child to one of our testing rooms and explain the study as both of you get settled in.

You will stay with your baby throughout your entire visit to the lab, including during the study. Older children may be asked to complete tasks independently in a nearby space, in which case you can still monitor your child’s activities remotely. As a thank you for your time and effort, we offer $25 in compensation and a gift for your child. We can also provide free babysitting for older siblings who come along (just let us know before the day of your appointment).

How long does an appointment take?

Depending on the study, you will be at Haskins anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. This includes the time it will take to go over all study components with you, to make sure your child is settled in, and to give you a chance to ask questions about various aspects of your child’s development and about the goals and methods of our studies.

How do you conduct research at Haskins?

Depending on the study, we may use one of a few measures:

fNIRS (functional Near-InfraRed Spectroscopy) is a safe, noninvasive technique that allows us to record brain activity by measuring the movement of oxygen in the brain. Children wear a lightweight cap while looking at pictures or watching videos so that we can record their brain activity as they focus on stimuli.

Eye-tracking equipment allows us to measure in detail what babies like to look at. Our eye-tracker uses a high-resolution video camera and small, invisible lights to track where children direct their gaze. Eye-tracking allows us to see, precisely, how infants react to different kinds of pictures, speech, and movies because, of course, they can’t tell us themselves!

EEG (electroencephalography) measures electrical activity in the brain. We use a set of small sensors placed in a small cap on the child’s head, so the only thing they feel is a slight spongy sensation. EEG is important because it helps us to see changes in activation in the brain almost as quickly as these changes occur.