Have you ever wondered how infants learn to reach, hold objects in their hands, and eventually name those objects? Are you fascinated by children’s ability to communicate with and without words? Do you wonder how children transition from being unable to hold up their own heads to walking and talking and making decisions? If so, then you’ve come to the right place!
We are a research laboratory based in the School of Psychology at UEA interested in how children change so dramatically in early development. In fact, we are so passionate about change, it’s woven into our name: ‘dynamics’ literally means change over time and ‘development’ is the time period we focus on.
The Developmental Dynamics Lab (DDLab for short) is continuously carrying out research studies looking at how children think, remember, and pay attention to things. We use fun tasks with novel toys or children looking at changing pictures on a screen. Sometimes we ask children to make ‘same’ or ‘different’ judgements so we know what they are thinking. Other times, we might ask children to learn a new word. And in some of our studies, we literally just play!
Another hallmark of the DDLab is our use of crazy cool technology. We use eye-tracking, immersive video, pressure mats, wearable devices kids take home to measure language input or sleep, and different forms of brain imaging – all geared toward understanding how children change over time at different levels of measurement from neurons to neighbourhoods.
What are we after in the long run? In addition to just understanding how children change, we are trying to turn our discoveries into innovative ways to help at-risk children. The idea here is simple: we want to help at-risk children very early in development before adversity takes hold.
So come join us! We would love to hear from parents who might like their child to take part.