For this project, Event Related Potentials are used to monitor brain activity in infant participants every two months from the ages of 4-months through 12-months. Two tests are done at each session. The first test consists of having infants watch pictures on a video monitor of their mother’s face and a stranger’s face. For the second test, infants watch pictures of their favorite toy (which has been brought in from home and digitally captured for presentation) and a novel toy. This project aims to understand the underlying processes of memory as they are used in detecting a familiar and a novel stimulus. Because this study is longitudinal we are also interested in how these processes may change with development.
At the 6 and 8-month sessions a short behavioral test is also done in which infants’ looking time to two different stimuli is recorded. The infants are first familiarized to a woman’s face for 60 seconds and then their looking time is measured to that same familiar face and a novel face.
To date, we have tested forty infant participants. We are just now beginning to analyze the data and hope to present a poster on our findings next spring. We will continue to enroll participants until then. We would like to thank the families who have participated in research at the Institute of Child Development and hope that we will be able to work together again in the future. Have a great summer!