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Information for Parents

Volunteering in Our Lab

Our research depends on the generous participation of parents who volunteer their time to visit our lab with their infants and toddlers. All of our studies involve one short visit (less than 30 minutes) to our lab, in which we measure your child's interest in sounds and words that are played on a large television screen. As a token of our appreciation, all children receive a book or toy after participation in one of our studies. Siblings are welcome to come to the appointment, too. We have a supervised playroom to keep children busy while experiments are in progress.

Scheduling an Appointment

You can easily schedule your appointment or ask for more information online. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will be sent further information and directions through email. We will also call you the day before your appointment to confirm your visit.

What to Expect at Your Visit

Because infants and toddlers have limited language ability, we have to be quite clever about how we test what they understand about language at very young ages. Your child will be seated on your lap in front of a large television screen where they will watch a movie that teaches them some new words (see diagram below). During this session, your child’s responses will be recorded so that we can calculate the amount of time they spend looking at the pictures on the screen. This allows us to understand a little more about what they know about language. Most children have a great time participating, but if your child should get fussy or distracted at any time, we pause or stop the procedure. During your visit, we also may ask you to complete a vocabulary checklist to indicate the words your child understands and says.

Preferential looking procedure.

Getting to Campus

Driving Directions

Please use our campus map and driving directions as resources to plan your visit. 

When You Arrive

Parking spaces are reserved for research participants in the campus parking lot on the corner of Foster and Kedzie Avenues. A lab representative will meet you in the parking lot to give you a parking pass and to escort you into the building. After parking, cross Kedzie Avenue and enter the double glass doors to the gymnasium (entrance on Kedzie Avenue). Immediately turn left down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs take a right, and then an immediate left. Continue straight by following the Psychology Lab signs. The Baby Lab is located down the hall on the left.