We conduct a variety of studies examining infants' attention and information processing in the Cognitive Development Lab. Parents bring their infant to the lab, where are they greeted by members of our research team. They remain with their baby through the entire procedure. During the experiment, the infant participant sits on their parent's lap and we present them with pictures and video clips, such as faces, everyday objects, and Sesame Street. At that time we may measure the infant's looking behavior, brain activity, and heart rate.
In our research studies, we record EEG to measure brain activity. This allows us to investigate how infants' brains respond differently to different pictures or patterns.
Heart rate may be recorded as an index of infant attention. When infants are paying close attention to something in their environment, their heart rate slows down.
Patterns in infants' looking behavior can provide insight into their preferences and information processing. In an online component of our research, we measure infants' looking to stimuli that they view on a computer in their home. These studies are available on the Lookit website (lookit.mit.edu) and can be completed at participants' convenience.