Infant Heart Rate and Attention Laboratory Experiment Demonstration

The goal of our research is to examine the role the brain plays in the development of infant attention. We present pictures, movies, or sounds to infants and see if they recognize them and pay attention to them. We record the “electrocardiogram” (ECG), and heart rate, because we can get a measure of attention to the pictures or sounds.

Infant Development Laboratory

The Infant Development Laboratory is at the Institute for Mind and Brain at the University of South Carolina. Parents schedule an appointment for the experiment, and come to our laboratory. We are conveniently located at the corner of Gervais and Barnwell (1800 Gervais Street). Our building is easy to find, and we provide parking on the side and rear of the building.

Once you're here

Parents (and baby!) are met at the door and escorted to our reception room. There we describe the study and answer questions that you might have. We have you fill out an “Informed Consent Form” that gives your consent for your baby to be in the study. Babies really like this part!!

Measuring heart rate

The infant’s heart rate slows down when paying attention, so we measure the “electrocardiogram” (ECG) to measure heart rate. This is done with small sensors on the baby’s chest. We also use sensors on the side of the head to tell use exactly where the baby is looking.

During the experiment

During the experiment we present interesting video and audio patterns on a computer monitor. This is a 2 year old viewing a central video and a distractor video.

While recording

During the recording a research assistant watches the baby and controls the experiment.

All done!

We are done!! She gets a Gamecock t-shirt for participating.

2 year old watching "Elmo" with distractors