Birkbeck Babylab – Our Visit

I recently attended The Baby Show and there was a stand there for Birkbeck Babylab. They are currently conducting a study on Remember? 

THE BABYLAB – Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development CBCD). 

What is the CBCD? The CBCD is a research centre at Birkbeck College university of London. Our research tries to answers questions like How do babies learn? How do they recognise faces? How do they develop language? 
Research at the CBCD also includes the study Of developmental disorders such as autism. It is hoped that in the long term this particular research will help identify the early signs Of the disorder allowing for earlier and more effective interventions aimed at improving the quality of life for children with autism. In recognition of the social and clinical relevance of our research the CBCD has recently been awarded the 21st Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. 
What happens at the Babylab? After volunteering with the Babylab we will call to invite you to our premises in central London when your baby is the right age for one of our studies. Parents or carers are with their babies throughout the visit and babies may watch faces Or colourful animations on a computer Screen Or take part in interactive games with the researcher Participation is voluntary and we reimburse parents for all their travel costs.

We had an early start as we had to travel via London Transport into Central London & just our luck there was an incident on the tube lines so it made us super late

We arrived at the centre and was greeted by the lovely Jennifer who offered us a drink and immediately started interacting with Hayden – He was extremely pleased as he loves older women LOL

There was tones of toys for him to play with and even a little girl there by the name of Lucy who was Two years old. It was so cute she had Pink jeans on & he had Green jeans – talk about coordinating HAHA

Jeniffer and Hayden
“Here Jennifer you have this one”
 We were then greeted buy Barbara lovely lady who was incharge of our session.

“For almost a century philosophers have been trying to answer the question whether the language We speak affects the way we think about perceive and remember the world around us. Today brain imaging helps to shed light on this issue by looking at the brain activity of babies who are making their first steps into language acquisition. Previous research in the Babylab has revealed that when one-year-olds watch images of objects whose names they know e.g. duck their visual cortex is more active than when they watch images of objects whose names they do not know yet e.g. guitar crab). In other words object perception at this stage is influenced by language. In this study we would like to further explore this mechanism. We hope to find out whether labels help infants to remember Objects and what babies remember from objects without knowing their names.”

“First the Objects will be introduced during a short movie. After that we will record infants’ brain electrical activity while they watch movies of objects disappearing behind an opaque screen. When the screen goes down either the same or a different object is revealed. We are interested in how the brain “remembers” the object during the occlusion period and how it reacts to the change of object.”

During our visit I was with Hayden at all times and it took less then an hour. I was able to end my session at any time but I didn’t need to as Hayden was clearly enjoying the experience.

We were also provided with a T-shirt & a Certificate 

It feels really good to say that my baby boy took part & it’s something he can say he has achieved in his first 12 months of life

Thinking about taking part?
How to Contact Us The Babylab Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Henry Wellcome Building Birkbeck College
Malet Street London
Tel 020 7631 6258


Lotte xo 
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  1. Love the baby lab Im am just about to back for my 3rd visit with my son Cody-Lee. We have been taking part in the basis study as 2 of codys older siblings have autism. My motivation for taking part is similar to what you said above I hope it helps future generations get diagnosed earlier. Both mone were diagnosed at 3 nearly 4. They are a wonderful team and I would urge anyone to take up any of their studies.
    Mandy x

  2. This sounds fascinating, and looks such fun for the little ones. I’ve no personal experience with autism, but I do have MS, so the more we know about the brain the better. Great t-shirt too.

  3. Fantastic place we are on our last visit to the Babylab with my daughter as my 2 older sons have Autism and I am willing to do anything to help future generations understand Autism. Well done to the team they are all great.