Studying the development of the social brain

Soon after birth, babies show great interest in other people and social stimuli around them.

With this study, we want to examine how babies’ social brain develops.

For example, we use a technique called NIRS to measure brain activation while babies are exposed to different social stimuli (e.g. they watch faces on a screen, listen to sounds, or feel a gentle touch on their limbs).

NIRS uses near-infrared light to safely measure oxygenation of the blood in the brain which tells us which areas of the brain are busy responding to something.


A photo of a baby standing up and reaching for some bubbles floating in front of it, with "University of Essex Babylab" in red and purple text on the left.
Take part in our research

We are always looking for parents interested in taking part in our studies with their babies! If you are pregnant, or have a baby or a child under 3 years old, and you are interested in taking part in our research, please sign-up today.

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Essex Babylab