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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Is Your Baby Thinking?


Isn't that the most interesting question? A few months ago, I actually looked through my mail. I know, I'm not the best at getting let alone going through my mail. (E or otherwise.) But one day I did and I had a postcard from NIH. They were doing a study to see what babies were thinking. I did a language study at the University of Maryland with Butterfly a few times and I thought this would be fun.

We did our second session with them today. The first time, the boys sat and watched different pictures on a tv screen. They seemed to enjoy it and were good boys who didn't cry or hardly even move. Boy they are easy going.

This time, they put sensors on their wrists and on their backs and gave them different weighted objects that look the same. The sensors are to measure their arm movement. It was interesting to see their different personalities come out during the tests.

Pirate was so interested. The researcher would give him a toy and he would study it, eat it, study it some more. And when the researcher tried to take it away from him to do the next toy, he would hold on for dear life. When she did get the toy, he would watch it all the way back to the box and kick his legs in excitement when the toy was coming towards him. So intent the whole time. His eyes miss nothing.

Professor was a little more annoyed by the toy taking. He kept up a steady stream of talking while he had the toy (yes, even with the toy in his mouth) and kept up a steady stream of crying when the researcher took the toy away. He would reach out to her, his blue eyes tearing up, lower lip quivering when she took it and by the time she put it in the box he was full fledged crying. Eyes closed, face red, hand dramatically up on his head. But the instant he saw the toy in front of him he would stop, grab it, and talk. So funny. She had a hard time getting him to take the last one. He kept reaching for it and then looking up at her suspiciously. It was very cute.

They are so unique in their personalities. I find it so interesting to see them together and see how well they compliment each other but are almost opposites. It's interesting to see how Butterfly has an impact on their lives too with the whole toy taking away responses.

Anyone that has a baby 5-8 months old in the area can email me and I can put you in touch with the researcher at NIH. They pay you twenty dollars. Sweet!


PS- Almost didn't post today. I started this early this afternoon and am now finishing it close to 11pm. Juice has gone away on business and I'm working it solo here for a bit. I miss him because there was a huge cricket in the living room. As much as I tried to ignore it, it was being stupid and kept jumping into the wall making a small thudding noise that was awful so I had to take care of it myself. The horror!


  1. Anonymous11:49 PM

    One of my majors was psychology and I worked for a year as a research assistant for a child psychologist. One of my jobs was looking at birth announcements in the newspaper to find new parents to call up and request they bring their baby in as a subject. Another one of my jobs was watching videos of sessions like the ones your boys participated in and measuring things like eye movement, hand movement and reaction times. It is so great you are participating in studies like that; it's amazing what we can learn about babies even though they can't speak!

  2. That is really cool Cat! I wish there was something like that around here when my kids were babies!

  3. I liked the study as well. The boys are both very intense, but in different ways. They just shine with intelligence. I hope you do more in the future.



I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller