Edge Hill BabyLab

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. We are interested in infant’s social and cognitive development in the area of face perception, the perception of objects, and language development.

If you are interested in participating, you can register your baby’s details here.

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 sat on your knees watching either a video or a puppet show. We record their looking times (which includes looking away as well).

Image of Babylab

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
  • kitchenette

What do I do if I am interested?

Image of Baby in Babylab

 

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.

If you are on social media and would like to see our latest updates, you can follow us on Facebook: @EHUBabyLab.

Alternatively, you could also contact us via email: [email protected]

 

 


Current infant and child studies

Infant studies

We are recruiting 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.

If you are interested or for more information, please contact Edge Hill University Babylab: [email protected]

Child studies

We are recruiting 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.

Why?
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.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact the researcher (Alex Thomson) at: [email protected].


Research Ethics

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 [email protected].


Location

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.

See how to find us or view our Campus map to Babylab for further details.


Meet the team

Dr Diana Tham (Director of EHU Babylab)

Diana Tham ProfileDiana is a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and a mother to a vibrant two-year-old toddler. Her research focus is on perceptual, social, and cognitive development. She is particularly interested in whether the environment we are exposed to shapes the way we think about and understand our world. The work that we do at Edge Hill Babylab explores this idea by investigating how babies learn about faces and objects. She has more than 12 years of experience working with babies and is passionate to show the world what they can do from a very young age.

See Dr Diana Tham’s staff profile for further information.

 


Dr Rebecca Frost

Rebecca Frost Profile

Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, with expertise in cognition and child development. Her research investigates the cognitive mechanisms that support language acquisition and examines the way that these develop in children. She is particularly interested in the way that learners draw on patterns of information in the world around them during learning. She is also interested in the way that learning is supported by sleep. Rebecca obtained her PhD from Lancaster University in 2014 and worked as a Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (Netherlands) before joining Edge Hill University in 2021.

See Dr Rebecca Frost’s staff profile for further information.

 


Alex Thomson (Dissertation student)

Alex is a third year Psychology student currently conducting a Dissertation project under the supervision of Diana. She is interested in studying the developmental differences of how children recognise and process basic human emotions and how this may have been affected through the means of wearing face coverings during the pandemic. Her main areas of interest include Clinical and Developmental psychology, and next year she is hoping to study a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Newcastle University. Outside of university, Alex enjoys spending time with her two sisters and niece.

 


Ingrid Morley (Student intern)

Ingrid is a second year Educational Psychology student at Edge Hill University, who is enthusiastic about learning more about Developmental Psychology and how babies and young infants develop, both cognitively and socially. She is excited to be gaining experience through such a relevant opportunity. Previously, Ingrid has done varied work experience with children in a primary school as well as in the children’s holiday club for which she currently still works. Outside of university, Ingrid enjoys swimming and baking in her spare time and enjoys returning to her home in Guernsey to spend time with her nieces and nephews.


Jess Oldfield (Student intern)

Jess is a second year BSc Psychology student. Her main areas of interest are developmental and forensic psychology. Jess has a variety of experience working with children of all ages, ranging from preschooler’s to 11-year-old Brownies. Upon completing this internship, Jess hopes to gain insight and valuable experience to enhance her skills ahead of her aspirations for the future. Outside of her studies, she enjoys spending time outdoors walking her dog, Betty, and working out at the gym.

 

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