Monday, March 15, 2010

What is your baby thinking?

Rio Cros, six months, enjoys the thrill of discovery, whether he's assisting in psychology research or trying a new food. Photo by Carol Clark.

Some of the most valuable minds in research are only a few months old. They belong to the infants who participate in groundbreaking work at the psychology department’s Child Study Center.

How do children learn? What and how do they think and remember? How do children change as they grow older? Families from throughout metro Atlanta are helping scientists at the Child Study Center explore these questions and more.

“This is a volunteer activity, and it’s impressive to me the number of families that are willing to come in and give their time for the greater good of science,” says Kelly Yates, Child Study Coordinator.

“I strongly believe in promoting research and the understanding of human development,” says Jill Woodard, a manager of research projects at the Rollins School of Public Health, who recently brought in her 9-month-old son, Bennie, to participate in a study. “I think it helped me understand my son better and how he interacts with the world,” she adds.

The center seeks participants ranging in age from newborns to adolescence. The number of children needed to complete a single study can range from 30 to 300. "All of the information in parenting books and child development textbooks comes from these kinds of studies," says Ayzit Doydum, a lab manager for Patricia Bauer at the center. "We're really grateful to the families who participate. We couldn't do our jobs without them."

Watch the video to learn more.

How babies use number, space and time
First blush: When babies get embarrassed
How we learn language

Stories your parents should have told you

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