Most of our studies involve a one-time visit to our lab in the Psychology Department at the University of Calgary. When you and your child come in to participate, one of our researchers will meet you with a parking pass at the nearby parking lot, and walk you to our lab. Each study typically lasts 10-15 minutes, and the total visit lasts 45 minutes to an hour, allowing time for your child to play and warm up to our lab environment. While your child warms up to our lab environment, the researcher will tell you more information about the study, go over consent, complete paperwork with you, and answer any questions you may have about the study! Our studies are usually set up in the form of TV shows, or movies that kids watch on one of our screens. By doing this, not only does it help us better understand child language development, it also helps to make the studies less boring for infants and young children. After the study is complete, the researcher will provide any other information they can, such as any preliminary results, and your child will receive a certificate, along with either a toy or T-shirt, as thanks for participating!
Most of our studies are setup in a similar way, but look at different aspects of language development, and feature different kinds of sounds, words, images, and moving objects. For example, one study looks at how infants tell apart different consonants, and how changes to the properties of sounds they hear can affect sound categorization. To determine this, we show children pictures of either a Bear, or a Pear, and change properties of the "B" and "P" sounds they hear while looking at these pictures. Then we show pictures of both a Bear and a Pear at the same time while children hear only one sound, and see which image they look towards. This allows us to figure out how sound properties and sound categorization are connected!