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About the Swinburne BabyLab

The Swinburne BabyLab is a research facility situated in the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre (BPsych) at Swinburne University in Melbourne. Directed by Dr Jordy Kaufman, the BabyLab utilises innovative techniques to explore cognitive, social and brain development in infants and young children.

The BabyLab conducts several leading research projects amongst a range of age groups. Currently, the BabyLab is undertaking a study on infants as young as four months to discover how social and communicative skills may become impaired in developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The aim of the study is to determine whether there are any attributable differences in development between infants with an older sibling with ASD (infants at high-risk of developing ASD) and those without an older sibling with ASD (infants at low-risk of developing ASD).

Another key study is exploring the impact of the use of technology (video chat, touch screen apps) amongst children aged 2-5 years.

In order to conduct the research and further an understanding of the mind and behaviour of infants and young children, a range of advanced research techinques are utilised. These techniques include behavioural eye tracking, which measures observable changes in development, for example whether babies have a preference for faces over objects, as well as electrophysiological methods, which track changes that occur to brain activity when resting or responding to tasks, such as, whether babies detect subtle changes in tone.

The primary objective of the Swinburne BabyLab is to publish high quality, evidence-based research that is of benefit to early childhood programs and educators. This will help improve the developmental outcomes of all young children, and in particular, children who experience delayed development.