Have you received a notice that your child is eligible for one of our studies? Listed below are answers to some common questions:

Why is this research important? Why should we participate?

Although the procedures for recording infant brain activity have been used for several decades for both medical and research purposes, we still know very little about infant brain development and neural responses to different types of stimuli, including faces. The data collected from your baby in this study will help us to understand how infants’ brains process social information and how person perception and social behavior develop.

What will my baby and I get from this experience?

We will not be able to tell you what your baby knows about faces or about their general cognitive ability, but you will be contributing to research that helps us understand how the brain develops and how infants learn. Group results of the study with a complete explanation of our findings will be sent to you in a letter as soon as the study is complete, though this often takes many months to years. This study is not designed to diagnose clinical problems, but if the recording reveals any information that might be important for your child’s health, we will discuss the results with you and recommend you to a medical professional who will be able to advise you whether additional tests should be done. For your participation you will also receive a small gift.

How will you record my baby’s brain activity? Describe the cap.

The caps we use for measuring brain activity are EGI’s ( HydroCel Geodesic Sensor Nets. ┬áThese nets contain small sponges, encased in soft rubber pedestals, that are soaked in a saline solution. This allows a computer to record the responses of your baby’s brain.

getinvolvedWhat should I do to prepare my baby for the study?

It is very important to schedule your baby’s appointment at a time when they will be well rested and comfortable. If your baby is not used to wearing hats, it can also be helpful for some babies to prepare them by getting them used to wearing a hat in the days prior to the appointment. It is also a good idea to bring familiar or favorite toys, books, videos, or anything else that your baby enjoys that will keep them entertained prior to the study and during any short breaks.

What will happen when I get there?

When you arrive at the lab, you will be greeted by an experimenter at the front door. They will give you a parking pass and bring you inside to the lobby. Before the study begins, you will fill out some paperwork and we will answer any questions you might still have. We will measure the size of your baby’s head to make sure we use the right size cap. A trained researcher will put the cap on your child and make any necessary adjustments. During the study, your child will either sit in your lap or in a high chair while we show them pictures on a television or computer screen.

Is the study safe?

Yes, our procedures are non-invasive. The studies have been evaluated, approved, and funded by the National Institutes of Health and evaluated and approved by the UT-Austin Institutional Review Board.

Do both parents have to come?

No. Just one parent (or grandparent) can bring the child.

How did you get my child’s name?

Since 2000, we’ve been granted access to children’s names and dates of birth from the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Texas Department of Health. We were granted access to this information because our project has been evaluated, approved, and funded by the National Institute of Health.

How can I schedule an appointment?

Please call 512.475.7908 or email to make an appointment. We look forward to talking with you!