• Parents

Research Projects


How do preschoolers learn?

Ages: 30-months to 59-months

In collaboration with George Washington University we are conducting a study using multiple different games to find out how preschoolers learn from video and touchscreen. We are examining how preschoolers learn from others and how age and memory development contribute to this learning. This study is unique because it takes place at the Smithsonian Zoo in the Think Tank. If you are at the zoo please stop by to participate or contact us for more specific information about scheduling.

Magnet Study

Ages: 18-months to 42-months

As screen media becomes more and more pervasive with the introduction of new technologies in television, computers, and touchscreens, these types of media are becoming increasingly present in babies' lives. The magnet study uses an imitation task with a magnetic puzzle board to examine differences in how babies learn from 2-D video or touchscreen demonstrations and how they learn from live 3-D demonstrations.

Cognitive Flexibility

Ages: 6-months to 30-months

Many children grow up learning two or more languages and recent research has found differences in cognitive performance between monolingual and bilingual children. Currently we are conducting research looking at how bilingual infants transfer learning across cues and the influence of bilingualism on cognitive development.

Baby Elmo

Ages: 6-months to 36-months

The Baby Elmo Project is a relationship based intervention consisting of instructional sessions and parent-child visits focusing on communication and socio-emotional enhancing techniques. Incarcerated teen parents are rarely given the opportunity to participate in hands-on parent training programs, despite the potential for reduced recidivism for the parent and socio-emotional benefits for their child. The findings of this study could have important implications for how to create and implement successful interventions for this unique population.

Let's Skype!

Ages: 6-months to 24-months

Does your baby Skype? We are interested in how families naturally use programs like Skype in their homes to help infants develop and maintain relationships with physically distant relatives. This study takes place in your home and we schedule around the times when you and your child are already planning to make a video call.

Peek-a-Boo Study

Ages: 6-months to 12-months

Peek-a-boo! We are interested in the way that infants socially interact with their mothers and with media characters. This study takes place at Georgetown University, where you and your infant will play peek-a-boo in a fun environment!