Photo credit: Melvin Yap

What is the purpose of this research?

The purpose of our research is to learn more about the development of language in infants and young children. We are interested to find out how children learn the meanings of words.

What is the research going to be used for?

Our studies will most likely be published in academic journals on child development. Since we’re interested in the development of children in general, we do not compare one child’s performance to another’s. Instead, we look for common, innate, or developmental patterns among a group of babies.

You can take a look at our previous publications under the Publications tab of this website. 

How will my child’s data be kept confidential?

All the data we collect in the center is confidential, and only group results are published. No information about individual babies is released. Only the Principal Investigator and her representative (research assistant) have access to the data, which are not released to unauthorized persons. The data is securely stored indefinitely at lab or office of the Principal Investigator.

Why do you need to video-record my child? Who will see the video?

Your child will be video-recorded so we can code the session after it is over for his/her responses. All videos are confidential, and will only be seen by members of our research team. Once your child’s responses have been coded, the videos will be erased.

Who are members of your research team?

Our Principal Investigator is Dr. Leher Singh. The research team consists of PhD students Ms. Charlene Fu and Ms. Dilu Wewalaarachchi, research assistants and undergraduate thesis students.

You can see current members of our team in the ‘People‘ section of our website.

Can I get my baby’s results?

We do not give out results for individual babies, because as expressed above, our findings are only meaningful at the group level. After each study is published, we will e-mail you a copy of the journal article.

If you would like to receive a written report of your child’s vocabulary or cognitive development, there will be the option of administering a standardized test to your child after the conclusion of the language study.

Can I stay with my baby during the course of the study?

Yes, definitely! Your child will be on your lap or right next to you, as you prefer, for the entire visit.

I’ve heard that screen time negatively impacts infant development and I’m concerned that my baby will have to watch a video on the computer to participate in this research. Will participating in this study be bad for my baby?

Our study does not involve watching television but rather viewing a still image(s) on a screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages television viewing in particular and not brief media exposure. Many infant research centres use this paradigm. It is also commonly used in hospitals to administer hearing tests with no adverse effects on development. The AAP recognizes the value of knowledge promised by scientific research in infancy and early childhood using looking time paradigm. Please click here to see the AAPs most recent guidance on screen time. 

Can I bring other children with me?

We have a play area that your other children and family members can sit at and wait for the study to be completed.

How long will each visit be?

Each study takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. However, in order to familiarize your child with the lab environment and the procedure, a visit to the center usually takes about 30 minutes. Should you want to complete the optional standardized test, it will take 20-30 minutes longer.

I work outside of the home. What are the centre’s hours?

The center is generally open Monday-Saturday, 9-5, all year round. We also have evening and weekend appointments available for working parents. If the procedure of the study allows, we can even arrange home visits on a case by case basis. We are happy to work around you and your baby’s schedule.

What if my baby gets upset or fussy?

There are no discomforts expected, but if your baby gets upset or fussy during the experiment, we will stop and take a short break and then resume when your baby is more comfortable. Or, we can stop altogether at any time you like. Our intention is for babies to have as much fun as possible, and it is important for us that they enjoy the experience.

Do I have to come back for a follow-up visit?

If you choose to participate in a study, there is absolutely no obligation to come back for another one. Each study involves a specific age group and is a one-time visit. However, if you are interested in returning more than once, we will keep your name in our database and call you when your child is old enough for the next study.

Will we be paid for our participation?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer any monetary compensation. Your child will receive a certificate and a small thank-you present at each visit.

We will compensate for your travelling expense to the Infant Language Centre. If you drive, we will provide a complimentary parking coupon. If you take a taxi, please keep the receipt and we will reimburse your taxi fare from your home to the lab and back (capped at $50).