Our lab

The LCDU lab is child friendly and suitable for all ages. It’s a fun and colourful space, with toys and games to help children feel at ease. The rooms off the main area house the technology we use in our studies. We use laptops with and without touchscreens, response pads (lots of buttons to press!), 3D objects, and eye trackers. An eye tracker measures where children are looking by recording how light reflects off their eyes. This tells us precisely what children are attending to within a picture or video, and exactly when and for how long they are looking at it. For instance, when a speaker describes someone performing an action on another person, when do children tend to look each of the participants? This kind of data can tell us a lot about how children develop grammatical understanding.


All of our procedures and technologies are fun, safe and non-invasive, and all of our research is approved by the Faculty Ethics Committee. We hope to meet you and your family soon!

Child pointing and sitting on parent's lap.

Room with a red sofa, toys, a table and a cupboard.
Baby looking to a computer screen

Below you can watch a replay of a 7-year-old completing one of our eye tracking experiments. The red dots are her fixations on the various objects on the screen (the longer she looks, the bigger the dots grow) and the red lines are her saccades (i.e. jumps) between the objects. Her task was to tell a listener to click on the object with the frame around it (though for privacy reasons you can’t hear her voice in this replay). You can see how she looks at the different objects in the scene before the target object is highlighted. Then as she produces her instruction, e.g. click on the stripy boots, her eyes move between the target and its contrast mate, i.e. she checks the spotty boots. We think that she does this in order to identify the main difference between the two similar objects, enabling her to work out which adjective to include in her referring expression.