What are some examples of the research you do at the Language Development Lab?

For a synopsis of studies currently in progress at the LDL, please click here.

What does a visit to the lab involve?

Our studies take place at the University of Ottawa in a cozy, welcoming environment.  You will be welcomed in our bright reception room, which has lots of toys for your baby, and any older siblings, to play with. We will explain the specific study to you in detail and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Our actual studies take place in another room down the hall from the reception area. Your infant will be seated comfortably on your lap, watching pictures on a monitor while listening to words or sounds. We videotape your infant’s looking times to the monitor, which tells us what they think about the sounds or words being played. After the study, we ask you to fill out a questionnaire about the words your baby currently knows. Please click here to take a virtual visit to the lab.

How long does a session last?

A visit to our lab generally takes about half an hour from start to finish, but the time in the actual testing room is usually between 3 and 10 minutes. Our studies almost always involve just one visit to the lab, although babies can participate in more than one study if parents would like to do so.

When can sessions be scheduled for?

We are very flexible, and can schedule for whenever is convenient. Evenings and weekends are usually okay too, if that’s what is best for you.

Do I get any compensation for participation?

We pay for parking or reimburse bus tickets, plus we have a special gift for all our participants. Also, we’d love to answer any questions that you might have about language development!

Can I bring any of my other children with me to the lab?

For sure. A research assistant or graduate student will watch your child(ren) in the reception room (where there are lots of toys to play with) while you are with your baby in the testing room. Just make sure to let us know ahead of time if you plan on bringing other children with you.

What do you do with my child’s results?

Your baby’s individual performance is not evaluated. This is because we are interested in babies’ performance as a group. For instance, we may be interested in how 14-month-olds differ from 17-month-olds in their ability to use language sounds in words. After we complete a study, we present it at developmental psychology conferences and publish it in various academic journals. Also, we will mail you the results of the study in which your baby participated.

What is your policy on confidentiality?

The personal information we collect is never released to any third party. In records of our studies, babies are identified only by subject number. Data are accessible only by members of the language development lab, and are destroyed after ten years time.

What about ethics?

All of our studies are approved by the ethics board of the University of Ottawa.

Where are you located?

We are located at the University of Ottawa's Main campus, in the Vanier building. Directions to our lab, as well as a link to a map.

How do I sign up to participate?

If you are interested in participating, you can give us a call at 613-562-5800 ext. 4447, or you can fill out an online submission form here. Then, when your child becomes eligible for one of our studies, we will contact you and provide you with the details of the study. At that point, you can decide whether or not you would like to participate in that particular study.

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