Learning about hidden creatures

Learning about hidden creatures

Infant and Child Development Center (Northwestern University)

Who Can Participate

For babies aged 14-16 and 22-24 months who learn English as their first language and are located in the USA. Your baby must be 14-to-16-months-old during the first session to be eligible.

What Happens

In the first part of this longitudinal study study (at 14-16 months), we test babies' ability to imagine and name a thing they have never seen. We also measure their memory and attention. When babies are 22-24 months, we repeat the same tests and also ask them to learn new facts about a creature they have never seen. We then test if they can recognize that creature on a picture.
This study involves two sessions, one when your baby is between 14 and 16 months old, and the second when your baby is between 22 and 24 months old. During the first session, your baby will watch a video of a person showing objects and naming them. Some objects and names will be familiar and some will be new. In the second session, your baby will watch the same videos and also some new ones in which a person teaches them new facts about a creature they have never seen.

What We're Studying

We want to understand how babies' ability to imagine and name an object they have never seen based on a few familiar images (measured at 14-16 months), helps them learn detailed new information from language at 22-24 months. This will help us better understand how babies begin to make a link between language and knowledge and learn about things they have never experienced from language. Down the road, this understanding will also help other scientists identify babies who may experience difficulties with learning from language and help them overcome those difficulties.


15 minutes per session; 2 sessions: at 14-16 months and 22-24 months.


The compensation for the entire study is $20 dollars. We will send a $5 Amazon.com gift card within a week after the first session (at 14-16 months) is complete. We will send an additional $15 Amazon.com card within a week after the final session is complete. To be eligible for compensation, the following criteria must be met:
(1) your child must be in the age range for this study; to participate in and be compensated for the second session (at 22-24 months), the child must have participated in the first session at 14-16 months;
(2) your child must be learning English as their first language;
(3) you need to submit a valid video consent statement;
(4) we need to see that there is a child with you in the study participation video
(5) you need to be located in the USA.
One child can only participate in the entire study sequence once.

This study is conducted by Elena Luchkina (contact: elena.luchkina@northwestern.edu)

Would you like to participate in this study?