One method that is frequently used with young children is measuring their attention. The equipment we use for measuring eye movements (the Tobii eye-tracker) consists of a computer screen with a built-in camera that takes pictures of your child’s eyes.
Measuring brain activity
Measuring brain activity (using EEG or NIRS) is a procedure used in research centres all over the world to study children's development. Why do we measure brain activity?
Observation and interaction
A lot of our studies are interaction-based, meaning that we interact with the infants through play. We create certain situations and compare infants' behaviors in these different situations.
Measuring hormones and bacteria
We do a great deal of research on the hormone cortisol. This hormone is involved in the energy balance of our body and helps us respond to stressful situations. We often measure cortisol in saliva or in hair.
The information that parents give us through questionnaires is indispensable for many of our projects. For example, to get a better picture of how children behave in everyday life, we ask parents to fill out questionnaires.