Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cady's Research

Monday I took Cady to the University of Denver after work so that she could participate in a research study. The study has something to do with infant memory and preference. She sat in my lap in front of a computer monitor. I was blindfolded, she was not. The computer would show images of two toys and they would monitor where she was looking to see if she registered a preference. Then they would display the same two toys in reverse position to see if she remembered the position of the original toy that she had preference for (or something like that, they'll be sending me the results). While they were setting us up, they prepared me for ways they might have to get her attention and ways that I could help. Yeah, right. I couldn't see Cady but I could tell that as soon as an image would flash up she started squealing, bouncing in my lap and clapping. It was a lot of fun for her. After we were done, the proctor (not sure if that is the correct term) said that Cady was the fastest baby they've ever had. I asked what they meant by fast. She said that Cady engaged really quickly. I asked if it had anything to do with her not being used to watching television. The proctor responded that it is very likely. She said that they have observed that babies who are allowed to watch those Baby Einstein videos that I hate (the social worker in me, sorry)have difficulty engaging because they are waiting for something bigger and better to happen on the screen than just two inanimate objects on display. This reinforced that our conviction to abstain from television probably is going to help Cady develop a better attention span. With attention deficit so rampant in my own family it's not something that we want to play around with. Cady's reward for participating in the research? A little bath toy. Her favorite!

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