Friday, October 8, 2010

Temple Infant Lab, Ambler PA

On occasion, I have received a flyer in the mail from the Infant Lab at the Temple University campus in Philadelphia, PA about having Mason participate in various studies.  The problem for me is that going to the Temple University campus in Philadelphia, PA is just not going to work for me logistically.  I am unfamiliar with the area and I always worry about finding parking.  In the previous chapter in my life, I was a teacher, so this opportunity has always been very interesting to me.  I was bummed because I would love to participate in a research study with Mason.

One night, I was wandering around the world of Facebook and found the Temple University Infant Lab, Ambler Campus.  My problem seemed to be solved.  I filled out a request for Mason to participate in a study and was contacted within days that there was a study open for him!

Upon entering the facility, we were greeted by a large variety of books, toys and puzzles for Mason to play with.  It was nice that Mason could play and get acquainted with his new surroundings before the study began.  I had to fill out some paperwork regarding Mason's current verbal skills and crawling/walking history while the coordinator spoke to me about the study details.

The study Mason participated in dealt with coordinate spatial relations and categorical spatial relations.  Researchers are trying to investigate how infants manage these types of information when both are available.  The X and + Study and Balls on Shapes Study is trying to determine if certain situations bias infants to encode coordinate and categorical information (X and +) and whether infants can combine coordinate information to give them the best estimate of the location (Balls on Shapes).  Basically, Mason sat on my lap while he watched a series of videos.  He was video taped so his eye movements could be studied at a later time.  There was one last study where he watched a computer that tracked where Mason's eyes looked when presented with different sounds and shapes.  This study looked at how he remembered where the shapes appeared and where he expected them to appear upon hearing a particular sound.

When the study was completed, Mason received a certificate and a T-shirt for his participation! 

He also got to pick a toy from the prize shelf.  He picked a football! 

Check out the website for the Temple Infant Lab if you are interested in learning more or signing up your child to participate in a study.  They are always looking for children ages 5 months to 6 years old to participate in studies.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baby Sleep Positioners

When I was pregnant with Mason, I wanted one of these positioners because I was so afraid that he would roll over onto his belly and he would be stuck there, not having the strength to roll back over.  Mason slept by the side of my bed in his bouncy seat for the first 3 months and it wasn't until after that that he was in his crib, so I never bought a sleep positioner.  Thank God I didn't!

I saw this  link on Channel 6 news website.  I think this is important enough to share.  Please tell your friends who might consider using one so no more little babies die unnecessarily.

The government is warning parents and caregivers to stop using infant sleep positioners - those soft fabric products that anxious parents put in the crib to keep babies safely sleeping on their backs.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday they know of 12 infants in the last 13 years who died when they suffocated in a positioner or became trapped and suffocated between the positioner and the side of a crib. The infants were between the ages of one month and four months. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from a side to stomach position.

CPSC has also received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners and later found in potentially dangerous position in or next to the sleep positioners.

So, here's what the CPSC is telling parents to do:
  • STOP using sleep positioners.
  • NEVER put pillows, infant sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib.
  • ALWAYS place an infant on his or her back at night and during nap time.