University of British Columbia

Centre for Infant Cognition

The Centre for Infant Cognition (CIC), at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, uses analysis tools provided by Noldus for detailed behavioral coding. Noldus’ MediaRecorder is used to record study sessions and is installed on multiple online coding stations. The cameras used in their studies are controlled by MediaRecorder software, which contains adjustable camera angles offering optimal viewing points. This allows the researchers to fully capture an infant’s eye gaze and body behavior during a study.


Analyzing infants behavior in detail

Additionally, the CIC uses The Observer XT to record study events, and further analyze this data. It allows them to analyze behavior processes at a very detailed level that could not be obtained manually. 

More specifically, it is used to look at minute (small/precise) eye gaze changes, hand gestures, and emotions of infants while they are observing a moral dilemma or social interaction, which is usually depicted in a puppet show. For example, when the infant is asked to share treats with the puppet.

Centre for Infant Cognition Della Rollins

CIC participates in ManyBabies projects

A global network of more than 500 developmental researchers, including the research team of CIC, are involved in the ManyBabies projects. Their goal is to address difficult outstanding theoretical and methodological questions about the nature of early development and how it is studied. 

The projects are organized in main projects (either empirical or methodological), spin-off projects, and secondary analyses. The 6 empirical projects aim to gain knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. They are explained below.

mother and child making fun
MB1: Infant-Directed Speech Preference

Do infants have a preference for IDS, and how does this preference vary across age, native language background, and method?

Father and child looking at screen
MB2: Theory of Mind (ToM)

The false belief task is central; predicting how an agent will act based on the infants' (mis)representation of the world.

infant listening to music
MB3: Rule Learning

Can infants learn rules over patterned syllable sequences and generalize those rules to novel syllable sequences?

centre for infant cognition puppet show kiley hamlin
MB4: Social Evaluation

The aim is to replicate the helping/hindering finding reported by Hamlin, Wynn, & Bloom (2007).

eye tracker baby looking at screen mother researcher
MB5: The Hunter & Ames Model of Infant Attention

Do factors such as task difficulty, infant age, and familiarization time shape infants’ preferences for familiar and novel stimuli?

Mother holding baby
MB6: Neonatal Imitation

What is the nature of neonatal infants' imitation of facial gestures? Do newborns imitate actions of others?

The Centre for Infant Cognition at the University of British Columbia is headed by Dr. Kiley Hamlin. It is a part of the Early Development Research Group, and examines infants’ evaluations of moral dilemmas and social interactions. The purpose of their research is to understand how infants reason about their surrounding environment.

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