A visit to the Baby Speech Lab
A visit to the Baby Lab takes about 30 minutes. We meet you and your child at the entrance to the university and take you to the lab. First we will ask you to let a lab associate help you fill out a questionnaire concerning your child's language background. Then the associate will explain the method of the experiment. Meanwhile, your child can play and get used to the surroundings.
The linguistic experiment itself takes 5 to 10 minutes. Your child sits on your lap, while pictures or colorful patterns are shown on a large screen. Or, in another type of experiment, three colorful lights attract the attention of your child. At the same time, your child hears speech sounds from a loudspeaker. You yourself are asked to listen to music from headphones, to avoid any unconscious influence on the responses of your child.
Your child's eye and head movements will be recorded with a video camera, and these will later be evaluated (anonymously). From the recorded movements we can make inferences about how babies learn a language. These studies work on the assumption that the baby's direction of attention reflects interest in the speech sounds it hears (see also the section on methods ).
As thanks and as a souvenir of the visit, each child receives a small present.