Scene and Heard (5.5-6.5mos)

Scene and Heard (5.5-6.5mos)

Lab for the Developing Mind (New York University)

Who Can Participate

For babies between 5.5 and 6.5 months of age. Because the study has a language component, there should be a native English speaker in the home, and your baby should hear at least 50% English.

What Happens

This study will take place on a video call, live with a researcher! Clicking on the “Participate Now!” button will send you to an online calendar where you can select a date and time that works for you.

In this study, your child will watch several videos of one kind of scene (like fields) labeled with a made-up word. Then they will see another example of that same kind of scene and a new kind of scene (like canyons) but this time none of the scenes will be labeled. Your child might also hear non-language tones. We’re interested in whether language draws babies’ attention to the information that differs between different kinds of scenes. Babies tend to look longer at things they find interesting, so we will measure how long your child looks at each scene to see if they find one more interesting than the other. We use non-language tones to see how much labeling sentences (versus other audio stimuli) might help babies to categorize scenes.

What We're Studying

From very early on, we start naming different kinds of objects for our children, like spoons, bottles, or chairs. Naming different examples of the same kind of object with the same word can help children form categories of objects that all have the same shape or function. Can naming the different kinds of scenes that we encounter in everyday life also help babies learn about scene categories? This study aims to address this question. We humans navigate scenes in everyday life and recognize where we are as we are navigating. Learning about babies’ early sensitivities to scenes will help us better understand how human spatial knowledge, a cornerstone of both everyday activities and STEM learning, develops.


30 minute appointment (but we'll most likely finish in about 20 minutes)


After you finish the Zoom session, we will email you a $5 (USD) Amazon gift card (redeemable only at within approximately three business days. To be eligible for the gift card your child must be in the age range for this study and both you and your child must attend your Zoom appointment. We will send a gift card even if you do not finish the whole study or we are not able to use your child's data. Each eligible baby will receive only one gift card for participating. There are no other direct benefits to you or your child for participating, but we hope you will enjoy the experience.

This study is conducted by Yi Lin (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?