What do children 'know' when they learn a new word? For example, when a child learns the word 'banana', has she learned something about its color, its shape, or both? Furthermore, little is known about individual differences in this knowledge, and what drives such differences: do differences in existing vocabulary knowledge lead to differences in what children remember about new words? To answer these questions, we are currently exploring children's and adults' knowledge and categorization of objects that they can already name (e.g., 'banana') and of novel objects for which we teach them a novel name (e.g., 'wug').

                                      A participant and research assistant playing one of our word learning games.

                                     A participant and research assistant playing one of our word learning games.

Current studies

Email miami.owl.lab@gmail.com or call us at 305-284-9564 to sign up your child scientist to participate!

Drawing study: This study is for children 4-6 years old. We're interested in what children remember about objects that they already know how to name. Children will be asked to draw familiar objects (e.g., spoon, milk) to help us know what information they remember. This study requires 1 visit to the lab and takes about 30 minutes.

Word learning study: This study is for children 2-3 years old. We're interested in how children remember new words. Children will be shown both familiar objects (e.g., cup) and made up ones for which we will teach them a novel name (e.g., wug). We'll then test what children remember about the made up objects (e.g., do they remember their color). This study requires 1 visit to the lab and takes about 30 minutes.

Free Play Head Camera study: This study is for children 15-30 months old. We're interested in what children and parents look at when they're playing together. Children and parents will wear a headband with a lightweight camera so that we can capture first-person views of what both of you see when you're playing with new foods and objects. Afterwards, one of our research team members will play a short game with your child. This study requires 1 visit to the lab and takes about 45-60 minutes.