FOR FAMILIES

Are you a family with a young infant interested in learning more about our research study? You came to the right place!

What is the goal of this study? The first two years is an incredible time when your baby goes from cooing, to babbling, to saying words! We want to understand how this developmental feat happens. We will look at how the brain changes and adapts to support this developmental tour de force, and we will look at how communication between parents and babies supports early development.

How long will I be in the study? Families enter the study when infants are 6 months and exit the study when they are 24 months. During that time, we will follow your infant’s development and you will visit our lab 3 times for play-based assessments and brain scans.

What are the lab assessments like? We want to know what your baby knows. To figure this out your baby will participate in developmental assessments that are play-based. You will see your baby do things like look at a book, play with cups, blocks, and wind-up toys. In the lab we will also ask you and your child to play together with toys just like you would at home.

What is MRI and is it safe? MRI is noninvasive and researchers have been scanning babies safely for over a decade. We will scan your baby while they are sleeping. We do not use sedation of any kind. The Baby Brain Lab uses the scanner at the UTD Center for BrainHealth Imaging Center. We will schedule your scan during the time your child usually takes a nap in the afternoon, or if you prefer, we can also scan at night after your baby’s normal bed time. When you arrive at the Imaging Center you and your baby will go to a quiet room so your baby can fall asleep. Once asleep we will start the scan, which takes about 45 minutes. You can be in the scanner room with your baby the entire time. Baby Brain Lab research staff will also be with you every step of the way.

What are home language samples? The goal of collecting home language samples is to understand what language your baby experiences in a normal day.  We collect home language samples with small recorders worn by the infants using specially designed tee shirts. Simply turn the recorder on, put it in the pouch on the tee shirt, put the tee shirt on the child, and go on with your day.  We use automatic software to process the language sample and generate daily counts of how many words your baby hears throughout the day as well as daily counts of how much your baby babbles.

Will I be compensated? Your family will be compensated for lab visits and home language samples. We will also provide free parking and can arrange for transportation to get you to the Baby Brain Lab or the Imaging Center. You will also receive reports on your child’s development throughout the study.

Can I bring my other children to the lab or scan? Absolutely. Just let the Baby Brain Lab research staff know that you are bringing them along. Our lab includes a child-friendly waiting room with toys. We will arrange a sitter to hang out with the sibling during the visit.

Questions or interested in participating? We are happy to answer any questions you may have about participating in this study. Just drop us a line (babybrainlab@utdallas.edu) or give us a call (972-883-4254). We look forward to hearing from you!