We broadly investigate developmental issues related to human learning, among infants and children. The research domains include perceptual, cognitive, and motoric processes. We are especially interested in infant’s social and cognitive development in the area of face perception, the perception of objects, and language development.
How do babies understand the world around them? How do babies learn from faces and objects? How do babies learn language? At Edge Hill University (EHU) Baby Lab, we conduct studies to answer these questions.If you are interested in participating, register your baby’s details
How do we learn from babies?
We use a variety of methods including behavioural observations and eye-tracking. In a typical study, your child will be sitting on your knees watching either a video or a puppet show. We record their looking times (which includes looking away as well).
What usually happens when my child and I are invited?
You will be contacted by one of the research team (with enhanced DBS disclosure) and invited to participate in one of the ongoing studies (either online or in person).
We have on-campus facilities available to accommodate you and your child’s needs, including:
- on-campus parking
- baby changing units
- feeding area
Current infant and child studies
We have two face perception studies (cross-sectional and longitudinal). For these studies we are recruiting both 4-month-old and 9-month-old infants.
If you’re interested or would like to know more, drop us an email:
In the cross-sectional study, we are interested in babies who are either 4-month-old or 9-month-old. If you have a soon to be 4-month-old or a soon to be 9-month-old infant, you will be eligible in participating in this study.
In the longitudinal study, we are interested in babies who can visit us twice. The first is when they are 4 months and the second is when they are 9 months. If you have a soon to be 4-month-old, you will be eligible in participating in this study.
You and your baby will be invited to Edge Hill Babylab when they are of the right age. The method we use is very straightforward. Your baby will sit on your knee and will be shown some pictures of faces on a television screen for about 10min. A great deal can be discovered about your baby through observation and making a note of looking times and boredom and interest rates. An eye-tracker will be used so we can make an accurate record of exactly where, and how often your baby looks.
If you have a soon to be 4-month-old infant, you will be eligible in participating in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
If you have a soon to be 9-month-old infant, you will be eligible in participating in just the cross-sectional study.
We are funded by both the British Academy and EHU Research Investment Fund. Therefore, you will be reimbursed £10 for taking your time to visit us and be gifted a book as a thank you.
We currently have no child studies available. Keep up to date and follow us on social media:
Current and previous infant and child studies
We recruited 4-month-old and 9-month-old infants to take part in a study about how infants perceive faces of different categories.
What does it involve?
You and your baby will be invited to Edge Hill Babylab when he/she is of the right age. The method we use is very straightforward. Your baby will sit on your knee and will be shown some pictures of faces on a television screen for about 10min. A great deal can be discovered about your baby through observation and making a note of looking times and boredom and interest rates. An eye-tracker will be used so we can make an accurate record of exactly where, and how often your baby looks.
We recruited children ages 3-11 to take part in a study about the effects of mask wearing on emotion recognition.
What happens during the study?
Your child will be asked to guess the emotions of faces, some of which will be face coverings. An eye tracker will also record what the child is looking at and for how long.
Similar research suggests that because it may be harder to read emotional expressions when people are wearing masks. However, some children have shown that they have adapted well over the course of the pandemic, and have become better at reading emotional expression using more information from the eyes.
Dr Martin McPhillips focuses on the motor development of children and young adults with a range of developmental difficulties, including dyslexia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, deafness, autism and developmental coordination disorder. Some of the work is lab-based, while other work is field-based with an emphasis on developing motor interventions for children and adults with learning and/or social and emotional problems.
From this work, the ‘Primary Movement’ intervention programme has been devised, which is now used in many schools across the UK, Ireland and Western Australia.
Our research is approved by the Ethics Committee at Edge Hill University. Data are confidential and anonymised where appropriate. You can ask for your data to be removed at any time. If there are any queries or concerns regarding this, please contact our EHU Baby Lab Team.
Meet the team
What do I do if I am interested?
We are always looking for children to participate in our studies. We generally recruit babies from 0 – 2 years old to be placed in our database. If you are interested in helping us, please register your baby here and we will contact you if your baby is eligible for one of our studies.Register your baby’s details to participate
Keep up to date
How to find us
EHU Baby Lab is located in the Psychology Department (2nd floor of Law and Psychology Building – Observation Suite, room: LP 2.28) of Edge Hill University. This is building number 7 on the campus map.