For Parents

At the Cognitive Development Lab, we study the way young children learn about language, numbers, objects, space, time, and people. To find out what very young children know, of course, you can’t just ask them. Instead, we play simple games with them. Sometimes these games are on a computer, and sometimes they use toys and other objects. Check out our latest newsletter and find out more about our recent studies! We expect to return to conducting studies in person, on campus, when COVID restrictions are lifted. Your child may also be eligible for an online study; click the button to the right for more information.

What happens when my child participates in a study?

When you come to one of our labs, your child will spend a few minutes getting settled, playing with toys in our playroom, and meeting the lab member who will run the study. We’ll tell you a little bit about the study, and then we’ll get started. In some studies, your child will see some objects and answer simple questions about them. In other studies, your child will play a quick game on the computer.

How long does a study take?

Studies usually take 30 minutes or less, but please plan for a 45-minute visit so that we have time to get your child settled comfortably and to tell you about the study.

Can I be with my child during a study?

You may observe your child at all times.

Will I receive the results of my child’s performance?

We do not analyze individual children’s performances and instead look at overall trends among groups of children. Additionally, your child’s information will not be shared with any one else. We send parents a newsletter that describes the findings in our studies.

Is my child the right age for a study?

We work with children between the ages of 1 and 10. But even if your children are younger, we would love to hear from you! We’ll contact you when your child is the right age for one of our studies.

Can I bring my child’s siblings?

Yes, siblings are welcome to attend too! If you will be bringing your other children along, please let us know.

When are appointments scheduled?

If you’d like your child to participate in one of our studies, we will work with you to schedule an appointment. We usually schedule appointments Monday through Friday between 9:00am -5:00pm, but we occasionally can schedule for evenings or weekend appointments.

How do I schedule an appointment for a study?

If you would like your child to participate in a study for the first time, sign up online via our secure webform or call us at 860-685-3588.

How many times will I be asked to participate?

All of our studies are designed to be completed in one visit. However, most families enjoy coming back to participate in multiple studies.

Where are you located? Is there parking?

We are located on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown (directions).