Current Research

Get Involved with CDL Studies:
Current Research Opportunities

Attention and Memory in the Context of Background Television

Heather Kirkorian

Dr. Heather Kirkorian, Faculty Director of the CDL and Director of the Cognitive Development and Media Lab, is currently recruiting children between 3-5 years of age for a research study, Attention and Memory in the Context of Background Television. Participating children will play in the Frances & Elliot Lehman Family Research Center. Sometimes a television program will play in the background.

Parents will be asked to fill out surveys about children’s background, behavior, and activities at home.

The Impact of Lighting and Background Noise on the Behaviors of Students with Sensory Sensitivities or Autism

Rudy DieudonneRudy Dieudonne, a PhD Student in Design Studies at UW Madison, is currently recruiting for a new study, Impact of Classroom Lighting and Noise on Students with Sensory Sensitivities or Autism. Rudy will be recruiting children between 3-8 years of age who are suspected to be on the ASD spectrum, have been diagnosed with ASD, or have sensory sensitivities.

Parents will be asked to complete 4 questionnaires about children’s emotional and physical behaviors. Children will be video taped for 35-minute play sessions in the CDL’s Frances & Elliot Lehman Family Research Center. Children’s teachers will be asked to complete 3 questionnaires.

Count List Training

Dr. Stephen Ferrigno

Dr. Stephen Ferrigno is recruiting 2-4 year olds for a new study, Count List Training. This is project is studying how children learn to use a count list and ways to improve their skills with a count list. The goal of this research is to develop training tasks that improve children’s fluency with the count list.

This research is being conducted at the CDL during school hours in the Frances & Elliot Family Research Center. The study protocol involves 6 sessions total per participant spaced out over two weeks.

Coming Soon: Future Research Opportunities

The Implementation of a Social-Emotional Curriculum in Preschool: Evaluating the Strong Start Intervention

Elizabeth DavisElizabeth Davis is a doctoral student in the School Psychology area within the Department of Educational Psychology, working under the advisement of Dr. Eklund. She is recruiting teachers to participate in The Implementation of a Social-Emotional Curriculum in Preschool study.

Elizabeth plans to examine the implementation of a social emotional learning (SEL) intervention, Strong Start, at the CDL this Spring 2023. Strong Start is a curriculum designed for preschool children that aims to both promote social and emotional wellness and prevent the development of behavioral concerns.

Research Studies Outside of the CDL

Dr. Julie Poehlmann and Dr. Douglas Dean with the Healthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) study are looking for several babies between the ages of 3-months-old and 9-months-old to come to the Waisman Center at UW-Madison for a 1-hour practice EEG session. The purpose is to practice applying the cap-like EEG net on babies of different ages as well as running the 4 EEG tasks. If interested, please email hbcd@bi.wisc.edu or call 608-265-6541.

Dr. Douglas Dean’s research lab at the Waisman Center is recruiting infants between 1-24 months with and without an older sibling with autism for a study on early brain and behavior development. For additional information about this study, please email babysibs@bi.wisc.edu or call 608-262-6706.

Dr. Martha Alibali’s Cognitive Development & Communication Lab is recruiting kindergarteners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders to participate in a study that looks at how children think and learn about patterns with shapes and numbers. To learn more or sign up for the Patterns Perceptual Support study, please email cogdevmath@psych.wisc.edu.

Dr. Susan Ellis Weismer and Dr. Jenny Saffran are looking for children to participate in research on the UW-Madison campus about how toddlers learn language. They are looking for typically developing children 18-24 months old and children with diagnosed or suspected ASD between 24 and 35 months. Complete this online sign-up to participate.

The Women’s Mental Health Program (WMHP) is led under the direction of Dr. Stowe within the Dept. of Psychiatry at UW-Madison. Dr. Stowe conducts psychological research with pregnant women, new mothers, and their children. The primary goal of WMHP is to understand the transgenerational effects maternal mental health and trauma exposure can have on the behavioral, neural, and psychological development of her child. To inquire about current research projects please email womensmentalhealth@psychiatry.wisc.edu.

UW-Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds often recruits people from all ages and backgrounds to improve well-being. If you are interested in participating in research at the Center, you can join the participant registry.

Online Research Opportunities

Online Research Studies at UW-Madison:

  • Dr. Heather Kirkorian and colleagues from Georgetown University are recruiting for a a week-long online survey study on parents’ experiences and perceptions of media. You may qualify for this project if you are 18 years or older, have at least one child who is under 2 years old (~23 months old), own a smartphone or tablet, speak and read English sufficiently, and are a U.S. citizen currently living in the U.S. Parents in this project receive up to $50 in an e-gift card. For more information, please visit our website at https://elp.georgetown.edu/portfolio/cafe-consortium/. Click here to set up a 30-minute video chat to learn more about the project or contact cafestudy@sohe.wisc.edu .
  • Lucretia Fairchild, a PhD student in Human Development & Family Studies, is offering free training for parents and caregivers of toddlers who are 12 to 48 months old. Participate online via video conferencing to learn strategies for particular aspects of promoting your child’s development, keeping your toddler safe and healthy, and having quality interaction with your toddler. The training session will take approximately 2 hours. Additionally, follow-up for 2 weeks afterward consists of a daily log, online questionnaires, and 2 phone calls with the researcher. You will receive $70 if you complete the full study. Currently, trainings for January-March are being scheduled. Email toddlerparent@sohe.wisc.edu to sign up!
  • Yi Tong, PhD student in Dr. Haley Vlach’s Learning, Cognition & Development Lab is inviting parents of Mandarin Chinese-English bilingual children ages 4-6 to participate in an online study to investigate how to better support bilingual children’s word learning across contexts. Children will be read a storybook where they learn new words, and their Mandarin Chinese and English vocabulary will also be assessed. The study will be conducted via Zoom and will take approximately 60 minutes. After completion, families will be compensated with a $20 Amazon gift card. If you are interested in participating, please use the following link to sign up (https://calendly.com/lcd-lab-virtual-study/man-eng-bilingual) or email Yi at tong33@wisc.edu.
  • Dr. Haley Vlach’s Learning, Cognition & Development Lab currently has online studies available for children ages 2 to 7 years old. For these virtual studies, your child and a parent or guardian will be invited to a video call with a researcher from the LCD Lab. The process will be similar to an in lab study. To learn more and schedule a session, please email lcd.lab@education.wisc.edu.
  • Dr. Seth Pollak’s Child Emotion Lab currently has a study for 4-year-olds on how children use words to learn about different emotions. If you’re interested in having your child participate, sign up here. Dr. Pollak’s lab is also recruiting 10- to 13-year-olds for a study about how children use reward information to make decisions, sign up here.
  • Dr. Martha Alibali’s Cognitive Development & Communication Lab is inviting children in grade 7 to participate in a study that explores how children think about data. To learn more or sign up for this Interpreting Data study, please email cogdevmath@psych.wisc.edu.

Online Research Beyond UW-Madison:

  • Children Helping Science is a website that  studies parents and children can participate in from home, from universities all around the world. Visit their website to find studies for children between 0-17 years of age, as well as studies for parents.

If you’d like to host a study at the CDL or post your research opportunities on this page, please email the CDL Teaching and Research coordinator at cdlresearch@sohe.wisc.edu.