Psychology Study at UT

Yesterday I took the twins to The University of Texas at Austin for a research study about infant physiological responses to faces, objects, and music.

The Study:
They took each twin, one at a time, into a room where they sat on my lap, got a sensor net placed on their heads, and then showed them images of faces. One face was on the far left and one face was on the far right. The images of the two faces were flashed at the same time for less than a second in intervals of 10. After that the faces changed and the process started all over again. The infant’s brain activity was then measured to see how they responded to these images. If the infant would look away, they would flash a green light with sound to attract them back to the screen.

Ellisa loved the first image and music that showed at the beginning. As soon as she saw it she smiled really big and got all excited. It was pretty cute. Then after that she just seemed to always look to her left. I think once she saw the first face on her left, she just kept staring in that direction not even knowing there was a face to her right. After about 2 minutes she lost interest completely and the study was over.

Hudson seemed more interested in looking at the screen longer. Of course, I wasn’t observing his brain activity, but he didn’t seem to show a response to anything on the screen. I don’t think he smiled once while we were there. After about 4 minutes, he was done. He kept looking back at me wondering when we could get the heck out of there.

It was definitely interesting and something I would do again, but I wonder if they want babies to react and care more than they really do. Both the twins were slightly interested at first (like all babies when they see something new for the first time) but after a few minutes, they were more interested in the toys sitting by the screen than what was actually being shown on the screen. If anything, the twins were both way more interested in the faces of the girls that were performing the study than the faces on the screen. I’m not sure what the department is wanting to get out the of study, but the study proved to me that infants are a lot more interested in what’s going on in real life vs the “tv.” Isn’t that the way we all should be?

My babies taught me a lesson: Stop watching TV and engage with the people around you. Real life is much more interesting than fiction.

Hudson being distracted before the study begins

Hudson being distracted before the study begins


Ellisa being distracted before the study begins

Ellisa being distracted before the study begins


2 Responses to “Psychology Study at UT”
  1. Joseph says:

    It sounds like Hudson being Hudson. Being disinterested in most things comes from Dad!

  2. Mary Ann O'Gorman says:

    This is a nice way to keep a record of experiences in the children’s lives. I like reading what is going on as you all develop your family.

    Delighted you take the time to share & record life in this way.

    Mary Ann

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