Thursday, 18 February 2010

Babylab: Making science move forward

When Paul was born, we got a letter from the Babylab in Leiden asking if we wanted to inscribe our baby. Babylab? Where? What? What do they do in the Babylab?

So, I made my bit of research before throwing the letter into the paper recycling bin: Babylab seemed to be a department part of the University of Leiden.

In the Babylab we try to find out how babies come to understand the world around them. How do babies acquire language? And how do they come to understand the relation between some action and the result of that action?


Ok, it seemed like I could collaborate to some sort of research; let's do it! I incribed Paul, and later on, Anna as well. Never heard anything from them; although I was getting some newsletters from time to time.

After almost two years, I got a phone call. Asking if Paul could take part in a test. Yes! Funny! Finally! A couple of students came this morning to make the test. They were showing Paul a couple of images in a laptop and he had to say the appropriate word. The words were simple ones, but similar, such as: baard (beard) and paard (horse), duif (pigeon) and duim (thumb), dak (roof) and tak (branch).

It took around half an hour, and the students were very friendly with Paul. I truly admire they prepared a test that requires the full attention of a two-year-old child for so long! And it worked!

For people with small children living around Leiden; I recommend taking part of it. It is not much hassle for the child or the parents, it is interesting to see and you are helping making science move forward!

1 comment:

Xavier said...

some years ago, or best said, a lot of years ago when our first child (Guillem = William) was born, we received a visit ... we thought that this man was a doctor ... he asked a lot of questions, really was a seller who tried to sell a book about childrens. We spent a lot of time with this man, finally I was not polite with him.


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