Seeking Children for Gallaudet University Study on Language and the Brain

by Sponsor February 18, 2015 at 11:40 am 0

Gallaudet research study (Image courtesy of Petitto Brain & Language Laboratory at Gallaudet University)

This sponsored post is written by the Petitto Brain & Language Laboratory, located at Gallaudet University.

The Petitto Brain & Language Laboratory at Gallaudet University is looking for children to participate in our research studies!

Children age 4 and age 7 can join a study currently in progress, where we study visual attention and brain activity while they are reading English and watching sign language. (Don’t worry — they don’t need to be reading yet or know sign language). If you and your child decide to participate, your child will be asked to watch several short videos that teach new words in English and sign language. Then your child will make choices between two different words to show what they have learned.

While your child does this, we will use an eye-tracking camera to follow his or her eye gaze, and measure brain activity using a system called functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). Both technologies are completely safe and do not use any magnetic fields or radiation, just low-intensity infrared light, which is safer than sunlight. A light net will be placed on your child’s head, and an eye tracker will not make any contact with him or her. Watch our fun video of what fNIRS looks like!

The study takes place at Gallaudet and will last about one hour. We will compensate you at $20 per hour, in addition to travel time, and you will be given a free download of an iPad storybook app.

The study has been approved by the Gallaudet University’s institutional review board. All information will be kept anonymous and confidential. You and your child have the right to withdraw at any time.

Interested? Please e-mail us at [email protected] to set up an appointment.

Don’t have a 4- or 7 year old child? We run many studies, and if you are interested in learning more about our research, please email us and we will be happy to have you visit our laboratory or possibly participate in a different study!

BL2 is directed by Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto, a developmental cognitive neuroscientist widely known for her discoveries about the biological foundations of language. She has uncovered key brain structures underlying early language processing and has tracked the development of these brain structures across the human lifespan. Please visit our website for more information about BL2 and our research.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Image courtesy of Petitto Brain & Language Laboratory at Gallaudet University


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