Universiteit Leiden

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Research facilities

Baby Lab

Psycholinguistic research
Staff, PhDs, students and guest researchers
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The LUCL Baby Lab was first opened in 2008 in the Leiden University’s Social Sciences faculty at the Pieter de la Court building. A new Baby Lab was opened in the Lipsius building in 2015 with Claartje Levelt as its director.

The Leiden Baby Lab is a welcoming environment for babies with a spacious sound-attenuated booth and two workstations and a live video monitor and recording device. In the Baby Lab, research is done on how infants and young children learn different aspects of their first language or multilingual children process language.  

Baby behaviour

The LUCL Baby Lab still collaborates actively with the Baby Lab in the Social Sciences faculty in sharing a common database of participants. In addition, a Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) machine is shared between the two baby labs, which allows researchers to shine a harmless infrared light into babies’ skulls, allowing us to see how blood flows in the infant brain in response to the presentation of various auditory or visual stimuli.  

In the LUCL Baby Lab, we test how babies learn different aspects of speech and language, typically by using a simple behavioral measure: the baby’s attention and interest. Babies naturally turn towards things they are interested in, and turn away from what they are bored with. This natural behavior is at the heart of the Head-turn Preference Paradigm, which we use to test whether infants can tell the difference between different types of stimuli, whether they be different languages, different vowels or consonants, different intonations. 

The Baby Lab is situated in the Lipsius Building room 1.10.

For more info on recent reseach or about using the lab, please contact the Lab Manager.

  • international research in language acquisition and on the effect of bilingualism (part of the Many Babies consortium)
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