Please note you'll need a laptop or desktop computer (not a mobile device) running Chrome or Firefox to participate.

PAIRS: Arcade Adventures!

Action Lab & Sinha Lab (Northeastern University & MIT)

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Youth ages 12-17 years old can participate (with their parent/guardian). We are unable to include youth who: • Were born pre-term (<37 weeks gestation) • Have a history of seizures • Have a history of neurological or psychiatric disorder, learning disability, or cognitive delay* *If your child has autism, you can learn about how to participate in this study and other research by visiting the Simons Powering Autism Research (SPARK) website: https://sparkforautism.org/

What happens

First, you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire about your child’s health and development to determine if they are eligible for this study. If your child is eligible, your child may be asked to participate in up to five games that test their abilities to interact with moving objects. We ask that you stay in the room while your child completes the games. We also ask that you do not help them play by making suggestions, reacting to their performance, discussing strategy, or demonstrating the games. It does not matter how well your child does each task; it is more important that they try their best. We will help your child understand the tasks by showing them pictures, demonstrating, and asking them to practice the tasks briefly.

Purpose

This study’s goal is to learn about the abilities of children with and without autism spectrum disorder to interact with moving objects. The study will investigate whether children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder perform differently than children who are typically developing in activities that involve catching, bouncing, or reacting to a moving object. If we are successful, then the results could inform future studies of autism, improve diagnosis, and may even potentially deliver therapeutic interventions that may help children improve their motor skills and other abilities.

Can babies learn categories from sign language?

Infant and Child Development Center (Northwestern University)

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For babies aged 4 months, born full term (after 37 weeks), who are living in the United States

What happens

In this study, your baby will see a series of objects and a woman who points to and communicates about the objects in American Sign Language. Then your baby will see two images at the same time and we record where they look throughout the study.

Purpose

We want to understand how babies learn categories, and the effect of language on learning processes. Previous research has found that even little babies can learn brand new categories (such as "animals" or "food"), and that their category learning gets a boost when they hear language. This study will help us understand whether babies get the same learning boost from seeing sign language. This will help us understand the flexibility that babies bring to learn about the world around them.

ALIENating Speech Sounds

Infant Studies Centre (University of British Columbia)

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For 5- to 12-month-old babies who are growing up bilingual (i.e., hearing at least 30% English AND 30% of another language). US/Canada only.

What happens

In this study, your baby will watch cartoon aliens labeling objects. First they will see familiar objects being labeled (e.g., banana) and then unfamiliar objects being labeled. The unfamiliar objects will be labeled with speech sounds that can be difficult to tell apart. Lastly, your baby will watch dancing rainbow dots while hearing sequences of the two speech sounds, and we will measure how long they look at the screen. Before the video for your baby, there is a brief task for you the parent: selecting the sounds you hear.

Purpose

This study explores the learning mechanisms that babies may use to tell the difference between similar-sounding speech sounds. We are interested in whether pairing the speech sounds with objects, in either a consistent or inconsistent manner, will influence babies’ ability to tell apart the sounds. We predict that babies who see the objects paired consistently with the speech sounds will later tell apart the speech sounds better than babies who see the objects paired inconsistently with the speech sounds. This study will help us to better understand how babies become masters in their first language(s).

Play a Silly Word Game with Us!

NYU LEARN Lab (New York University)

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For children ages 2 years, 6 months to 3 years, 4 months (30 to 40 months) who speak English

What happens

Your child will watch captivating videos with colorful shapes and music as well as videos of simple actions. They will hear some silly words throughout the study. We may ask your child to point to the screen, but it is okay if they do not. Either way, we will be capturing your child’s eye gaze as they watch the videos so we can tell what they are looking at.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how toddlers and preschoolers learn language. Learning their first language is one of the most amazing achievements of early childhood and we are interested in learning how children accomplish it. This study will let us better understand what information is useful for children learning new verbs.

Can you hear the difference?

Infant Studies Centre (University of British Columbia)

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For 5- to 12-month-old babies who are hearing mostly English (90-100% of the time ) OR who are hearing both English and another language (at least 30% of each). US/Canada only. If you have already participated in "ALIENating Speech Sounds", please do NOT participate in this study. Is your baby growing up hearing mostly or only (>90%) English? This study is no longer recruiting monolingual babies and is focusing on bilingual babies only. That said, we would love for you to participate in our other study 'Can You Hear the Difference?" on Lookit! Please note you will not receive a gift card if your child is not growing up with multiple languages and you proceed with participating in this study - please participate in "Can You Hear the Difference?" instead.

What happens

In this study, your baby will watch dancing rainbow dots while hearing sequences of the two speech sounds ("ra" and "la"), and we will measure how long they look at the screen. Before the video for your baby, there is a brief task for you the parent where you are selecting the sounds you hear.

Purpose

This study explores how well infants between 5-12 months of age can differentiate between two difficult speech sounds in at least one of their first languages. The speech sounds used in this study can be difficult for adult native English speakers, therefore, we are interested in how infants will perform differently on this based on age and language exposure. We predict that babies who are older and have more experience with the speech sounds presented will tell apart the speech sounds better than babies who are younger and with less experience. This study will help us to better understand how babies become masters in their first language(s).

See numbers, hear numbers!

CALC (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)

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For babies age 7 to 9 months.

What happens

In this study, your baby will hear different numbers of sounds, and watch movies with different numbers of shapes in them. We are interested in how well babies can match the numbers they hear to the numbers they see.

Purpose

Can babies connect how many things they see to how many sounds they hear? And how does this ability develop over the first few months of life? We address this question by looking at how babies at different ages react to images and sounds of different quantities. Findings from this study will tell us more about how babies abstract number information from the busy and complex world around us.

Who speaks what? (8-11 month-olds)

Infant Learning & Development Laboratory (University of Chicago)

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For babies ages 8-11 months who were born at full term (37+ weeks) and hear only English at home

What happens

Your child will watch videos of people who speak either a familiar language (English) or an unfamiliar language (French). Then the two speakers will be presented side-by-side either in silence or grasping a toy. We are interested in which speaker your baby prefers to look at!

Purpose

Babies usually prefer to listen to their native language compared to other languages. By six months, they also tend to look longer at faces of people who speak their native language. In this study, we are looking at whether this is because they simply like people who speak familiar languages better, or because they pay attention to someone who is more likely to give information that is comprehensible and culturally relevant. We are also interested in whether babies’ preferences for familiar-language speakers will show the same changes over age as their preferences for people of more familiar races, which would suggest that they think of these forms of familiarity similarly.

Babies & Agents, Session B

SaxeLab (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))

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For 7 to 10 month old babies

What happens

During this study, your child will watch videos of cute animated agents trying to approach a goal object in different ways. We will be recording you child's attentiveness during the study and checking for how long they are interested in looking at the scenarios that we show on the screen.

Purpose

We are interested in whether babies have some expectations about how agents (i.e. animate things, such as people or animals) should act in the world. In particular, the goal in this study is to understand whether babies expect other agents to act efficiently, and therefore whether babies are surprised when an agent does not spend unnecessary energy to achieve its goal. The answer to this question has implications for what types of knowledge babies are born with vs. what they learn, and might also help us think better about also how we should scaffold what we teach young children on top of this knowledge.

Biologische Beweging Studie

Leiden Babylab (Leiden University)

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Voor baby's tussen 4 en 8 maanden oud, die niet hebben deelgenomen aan het onderzoek "Biological Motion".

What happens

In dit onderzoek zal uw baby verschillende korte video's bekijken. Eerst laten we een vrouw zien die handgebaren maakt, zoals kiekeboe spelen, of we laten draaiende tandwielen zien. Daarna zullen we twee video's naast elkaar afspelen die bewegende punten laten zien. In een van de video's lijken de punten op een persoon die in het donker beweegt, terwijl in de andere video de punten willekeurig bewegen. Naar welke video zal uw baby het liefst kijken?

Purpose

Menselijke bewegingen zijn een belangrijke bron van sociale informatie voor baby's. Baby's kunnen al heel vroeg menselijke bewegingen onderscheiden van niet-menselijke bewegingen, zelfs als de bewegingen gedeeltelijk verborgen of abstract zijn. In dit onderzoek willen we nagaan of baby's menselijke bewegingen kunnen herkennen wanneer deze worden voorgesteld door punten die overeenkomen met menselijke gewrichten die in het donker bewegen. We proberen ook te ontdekken of de context waarin baby's de bewegende punt-weergaven observeren van invloed is op hun vaardigheid. Door deze vragen te beantwoorden, zullen we meer te weten komen over hoe de sociale vaardigheden van baby's zich ontwikkelen, met name in hoeverre de herkenning van en voorkeur voor menselijke bewegingen automatisch verloopt.

Who speaks what? (4-6 month-olds)

Infant Learning & Development Laboratory (University of Chicago)

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For babies ages 4-6 months who were born at full term (37+ weeks) and hear only English at home

What happens

Your child will watch videos of people who speak either a familiar language (English) or an unfamiliar language (French). Then the two speakers will be presented side-by-side either in silence or grasping a toy. We are interested in which speaker your baby prefers to look at!

Purpose

Babies usually prefer to listen to their native language compared to other languages. By six months, they also tend to look longer at faces of people who speak their native language. In this study, we are looking at whether this is because they simply like people who speak familiar languages better, or because they pay attention to someone who is more likely to give information that is comprehensible and culturally relevant. We are also interested in whether babies’ preferences for familiar-language speakers will show the same changes over age as their preferences for people of more familiar races, which would suggest that they think of these forms of familiarity similarly.

Looking for more ways to contribute to research from home? Check out Children Helping Science for even more studies!