Ongoing Studies

The Ch.I.L.D Research Group is always looking for new child scientists to participate in our research. Here are our studies currently looking for participants!

Parent-Child Free-Play Interactions and Word Learning

As infants' language skills develop, they start recognizing speech sounds and patterns, which allows them to add new words to their vocabulary. Previous research has shown that this learning process involves establishing connections between specific words and the objects they represent. However, there has been limited investigation into how different types of parent-child interactions, such as co-viewing, affect a child's ability to learn new words, especially when learning from a video. Additionally, we are interested in understanding how child-parent free-play interactions and interruptions to these interactions impact a child's learning outcomes. In this study, we use non-invasive eye-tracking technology to examine the various contexts in which parent-child interactions influence the learning process.

This study is looking for new participants!

We are recruiting 14- and 18-month-old participants for this in-person study, which will be held at the University of Calgary (with free parking and babysitting provided). Your child will receive a toy prize, a t-shirt, and a certificate for their contribution.

To sign up, please contact or register for our database!

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Sign up for our database to be contacted when we are recruiting for a study your child is eligible for!

Vocal Emotional Cues in Unfamiliar Languages

Previous research has shown that children as young as 4-years-old have the ability to use a speaker’s emotional prosody (e.g., happy-sounding voice vs. sad-sounding voice) to guide language processing in their native language. For example, when young children were presented with two objects on a screen (e.g., an inflated ball and deflated ball) and a speaker said “Look! Look at the ball!”, children used the speaker’s tone of voice to determine which ball the speaker was talking about. However, when presented with the same task in an unfamiliar language, it was more more difficult for this age group to match the tone of voice to the object. We are currently investigating whether an older age group can successfully match the tone of voice to the correct object in an unfamiliar language, in this case, Arabic.

This study is looking for 8-8.5-year-olds to participate in our study!

In the present study, we use non-invasive, eye-tracking technology to investigate whether or not young children use emotional prosodic cues in an unfamiliar language.

Children will listen to either a happy-sounding or sad-sounding voice speaking in Arabic and are asked to match the voice to either a happy- or sad-looking face. Children must speak at least 80% English in the home and have not been previously exposed to the Arabic language.

This study is being conducted in-person at the University of Calgary, in which we will provide free parking and free babysitting during the study. Your child will receive a toy prize, t-shirt, and certificate for their contribution.


If your child is 8-8.5-years-old, and you are interested in participating, please contact or sign up for our database!