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Brighton researchers look to recruit babies for colour studies
University researchers are looking to recruit baby scientists to help with a new project.
The call for babies comes from the University of Sussex’s Baby Lab, where researchers study tiny tots at play.
The aim is to find out what babies can understand, how they experience the world around them and how they develop and learn.
Babies and their parents will be asked to attend the new lab, decked out in baby-friendly colours and furnishings, to play specially designed games and take part in fun activities.
Researchers will then observe how the babies act and behave, or record what the babies look at.
Important questions Psychologist Anna Franklin, who heads the lab, said: “ It may look like it’s just a lot of fun, but the babies are actually helping researchers answer a range of important questions such as: ‘How long can babies remember something for?’, ‘Can babies recognise their mother’s face?’ and even ‘Can babies count?’.”
The lab’s current research, the Rainbow Project, aims to discover how babies see colour.
To find out, researchers will need to study around 400 babies over a two-year period, so they are looking for babies across Sussex to take part.
During a 30-minute visit, babies will be shown a series of colours while the researchers record what they look at to find out whether they recognise changes in colour.
Those already signed up include George Hodgson from Lewes, who is four and a half months old.
His mother Emma Rand agreed to let him take part in the project after hearing about it from one of its workers.
She said: “George was put in his car seat and placed in an area where they showed him him two screens with different colours.
“They were checking to see how he reacted to them.
“I was more than happy to help out.
“I work in mental health and I’m fascinated by research like this.
“I’m just glad we are able to help in some way.”
Dr Franklin said: “We know from previous research that contrary to popular belief, babies do see colour, even when they are newborns.
“What we want to know is how good babies are at noticing changes in colour, and in particular we want to know whether babies group colours in a similar way to adults.”
To register your baby for the study, or for more information, visit www.sussex.ac.uk/babylab or call 01273 873300.
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