FAQs For Families

Q: What studies are you running right now?

A: We’re always running multiple studies. Most of our projects explore how toddlers build up their vocabularies. Feel free to email us for more information and to see if your child is eligible to participate?

Q: What should I expect from a visit to the MACAW lab?

A: You should expect to have fun! Please visit our “What to Expect” page for more detailed information.

Q: How long does a visit take?

A: Most visits take about an hour, but we like to schedule an hour and a half to be sure we have enough time to play and answer any questions you may have.

Q: Can I bring other children with me?

A: Yes! Other children are always welcome to come. Please let us know in advance so that we can make arrangements.

Q: Is there reimbursement for participating?

A: We pay all families $5 to compensate for parking. Additionally, your child will receive a prize, such as a book or a small toy, at every visit. Some studies do offer additional compensation; we will let you know in advance if this is the case.

Q: What is an eye-tracker? How does it work? Is it safe?

A: Many of our studies use eye-tracking technology. We use a Tobii Pro Spectrum eye tracker to play fun videos designed to study how children learn language. The eye tracker reflects light of off the cornea — a part of the eye — to measure where your child is looking on the screen as they watch the videos. This is a great way to capture how children are making sense of language in real time! Our research group has extensive experience with eye tracking and has published multiple papers that use this technology. It is non-invasive and safe to use.
Please note that individuals with a history of epilepsy should not use an eye tracker! Please let the research team know if you or your child has a history of epilepsy so that we may find more appropriate studies for you to participate in.

Q: Your studies use a lot of made-up words. Why do you do this?

A: We are interested in how children figure out the meanings of new words. To be sure that your child doesn’t already know the words we are trying to teach, we use made-up words instead of real ones. This ensures that we are studying the effects of our experiment, not prior knowledge.

Q: How can I find out more?

You can email us at muscmacaw@gmail.com or call us at (843) 792-1417. We look forward to hearing from you!

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