We are part of the Infant and Child Studies Consortium, an interdisplinary research group at the University of Maryland investigatings issues of child development. Each study requires only one session and we can schedule appointments Monday through Friday during the day, and on select Saturdays. Our studies usually take about 30 minutes from the time you arrive to the time you leave. If you sign up for a study, we will give you directions by mail, email, or over the phone. For more information on how to participate, please feel free to contact us.

What happens when I visit the lab?

In this study children simply follow verbal instructions while playing with toys, or listen to stories about toys or pictures. Throughout the experiment, an eye-tracking camera will track the child’s eye movements. Later, we will retrieve the data from the eye-tracker to see how the child processed language during the experiment. Previous work in our research group has shown that these kinds of eye movements can tell us about children's moment-to-moment language comprehension. We invite all parents to be in the room at all times, including during the study. Afterwards we would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the procedures, materials, and the goals of the research.

Can I bring along my other children?

Absolutely! Another member of our staff will gladly look after them during your visit. Our lobby is full of toys for them to play with. If you will be bringing other children, please let us know in advance when you make an appointment.

What is there to do on campus after my visit?

There are plenty of fun activities on campus! You can: (1) Visit Testudo at his statue in front of McKeldin Library, (2) Take a trip to the campus farm and take a peek at the animals, (3) Get an ice-cream cone at the famous Dairy, and (4) Take a picture with Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog at their statue in front of the Stamp Student Union.


Fountain at McKeldin Mall

Testudo at McKeldin Library

Campus Farm


We have on-going partnerships with schools and daycare centers in the D.C. metro area to host on-site data collection for research studies. Parents are given a brief summary of the study goals/procedures prior to participation. Each study takes no more than half an hour. Your participation is entirely voluntary. The director and teacher will decide appropriate times when the child can participate in a small room nearby the classroom.

What happens after testing is finished?

After testing is finished, the school is typically provided with a gift as a thank you for their participation. The type of gift or donation varies depending on the school’s need and the amount of children who participate in the study. We will also send parents a letter describing our findings. Any information collected for this study will be confidential, and published reports will not mention individual children.

How is confidentiality maintained?

Your privacy is very important to us. Any information collected for all research studies will be confidential, and published reports will not mention individual children. Your child's file will be given a code number rather than a name for us to identify it. Only researchers associated with this project will have access to the data.


You can sign up for experiments via the SONA extra credit system. Additionally, you can directly contact the LCL and one of the research assistants will respond about the studies you currently qualify for.

What do we get for participating?

Depending on the study, the participant will either receive credit via the SONA extra credit system or will be paid. On the SONA website, it will be explicitly stated if the study will provide extra credit or monetary compensation.

How can we participate further in research?

If you are interested in the topic of the study conducted and would like to participate further in research involving language development, see the Research page for a research assistant application. Additionally, we offer a full time internship for 1-2 people in the summer. The nature of the internship and the responsibilities of the intern vary summer to summer depending on the study the person is assigned to and the needs of the research lab.