ICL video transcript

Dr Joe McCleery describes some of the research carried out in the Infant and Child Laboratory at the University of Birmingham.

Title: Research in the Infant and Child Laboratory (follow for video)

Duration: 1.28 mins

Speaker Names (if given): S1 Dr Joe McCleery

S1 My research in the school of Psychology is focussed on typical and atypical brain function and development in infants and children. The main aims of my research are to uncover potential causes of disorders of functioning such as, autism and anxiety disorders and these kinds of things. Using these EEG sensor nets we can record the brainwave activity of infants and children as they listen to stimuli such as speech and non-speech. So what we’re finding in this research is that typically developing babies and children, within the first quarter of a second of processing, already detect speech as special and then they use specialised brain areas to process that information.

The School of Psychology is an internationally recognised school and it’s also quite international in terms of the staff and the students. I, myself, being from the United States, have actually integrated quite well. I feel very comfortable here and supported both in terms of my colleagues and also in terms of the resources available.

In addition to EEG we also use eye-tracking and for adult participants we’ve actually integrated EEG and eye-tracking technology so that we can actually tell exactly where someone’s looking when we are recording their brain activity and we’re also in the process of setting this technology up so we can use it with babies. So we could, for example, show babies a mother speaking to them and then record where on the face they are looking when they hear the speech and when we record the brain activity to that speech stimulus.