Becoming aware of ourselves

How do we know that the face we see in the mirror is our own? Or that the hand we are moving belongs to us? How do we learn to copy others?

We are interested in understanding how babies and children learn to use information coming from different senses to perceive their body.

For example, we use methods like EEG to measure the naturally-occurring electrical brain activity in response to different tasks, such as while babies watch a photo of themselves or another baby.

The EEG cap is made of sensors embedded in sponges that are arranged in a stretchy net. We soak the net in warm water with a bit of salt and baby shampoo, this makes the sponges go soft and warm and allows us to measure the brain activity that occurs when babies are learning.

We also have specific studies for primary school children, to study how we keep up with our growing body as we get older. We use visual illusions and fun games to measure children’s ability to correctly localise and use their hands to complete actions. We also study how children feel about different bodies and how we can promote body positivity across the lifespan.


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