Scene and Heard!

Scene and Heard!

Lab for the Developing Mind (New York University)

Who Can Participate

For babies ages 11.5 to 13.5 months. Because the study has a language component, there should be a native English-speaking adult in the home, and your child should hear at least 50% English.

What Happens

In this study, your child will watch several videos of one kind of scene (like a field) labeled with a made-up word. Then, another example of that type of scene will be presented side-by-side with a new kind of scene (a canyon). Your child might also hear non-language tones or silence. We use these to see how language (as opposed to other auditory stimulus or no auditory stimulus) might help babies to categorize scenes.

We’re interested in whether language draws babies’ attention to the information that differs between different kinds of scenes. Babies tend to look longer at things they find interesting, so we will measure how long your child looks at each scene to see if they find one more interesting than the other.

What We're Studying

From very early on, we start naming different kinds of objects for our children, like spoons, bottles, or chairs. Naming different examples of the same kind of object with the same word can help children form categories of objects that all have the same shape or function. Can naming the different kinds of scenes that we encounter in everyday life also help babies learn about scene categories? This study aims to address this question.


10 minutes


After you finish the study, we will email you a $5 (USD) Amazon gift card (redeemable only at within approximately three business days. To be eligible for the gift card your child must be in the age range for this study, you need to submit a valid consent statement, and we need to see that there is a child with you participating in the study. But we will send a gift card even if you do not finish the whole study or we are not able to use your child's data. Each eligible child will receive only one gift card for participating. There are no other direct benefits to you or your child for participating, but we hope you will enjoy the experience.

This study is conducted by Yi Lin (contact:

Would you like to participate in this study?