Current Research Studies

Project on Children’s Language Learning (All classrooms - age 3+) – Lidz Research Group - This project involves two separate studies that your child may take part in. The first study involves your child watching several videos and asking Snuggles the Turtle some questions about the videos. Your child would also play computer games and play with a musical toy piano. Each of these two sessions will last about 15-20 minutes. The second study involves your child watching videos and filling in the missing parts of spoken sentences for about 15 minutes.

Children's Evaluations of Helpful People - Beier Research Group - The aim of this research is to understand how children form impressions of other people based on their helpfulness and non-helpfulness towards others. Children participating will watch a series of short videos depicting various scenarios where characters are either helpful or non-helpful. They will then be asked a series of questions to investigate whether children form favorable or unfavorable impressions of helpers and non-helpers.


How Developing Cognitive Control Effects Processing of Passives - Huang Research Group - This study aims to understand how children learn the meaning of words and grammatical structures, and how they learn to use this information to interpret sentences in real time. The researchers will present spoken sentences and use eye-tracking methods for written words presented on a screen in order to understand language on a moment-to-moment basis. They are interested in learning how much of a sentence children need to hear to identify an item that is being described.


Parent & Child Decision-Making - Ramani Research Group - This studies primary aim is to examine influences on children’s and adult’s decision-making. The study will involve two sessions of activities for children as well as a short online survey for parents. For children, the first session will entail playing games with a researcher involving looking at pictures and making decisions about them. In the second session, children will play an academic game with a researcher. Children ages 3- to 8-years old are welcomed to participate in this project.

Performance Conditions in the Relations Among Kindergarten Children’s Temperament, Executive Functioning, Social Competence, and School Readiness - Teglasi Research Group - This project will involve 3-4 30 minute sessions. This project aims to use tasks such as puzzles, storytelling, and identifying emotions using puppets to answer questions about the relationship between children’s temperament, executive functioning, emotion understanding, social competence and school readiness.

Growth in Preschoolers Math Skills Study - Ramani Research Group - The goal this study is to assess preschoolers' mathematical skills in the fall and spring of the school year to examine how children's skills grow over time. This study consists of four 15-20 minute sessions (two sessions in the fall and two sessions in the spring), and will also involve a brief 5-minute demographic survey for the parents, which will be attached to the consent form.

Parent & Child Decision-Making - Ramani Research Group This studies primary aim is to examine influences on children’s and adult’s decision-making. The study will involve two sessions of activities for children as well as a short online survey for parents. For children, the first session will entail playing games with a researcher involving looking at pictures and making decisions about them. In the second session, children will play an academic game with a researcher. Children ages 3- to 8-years old are welcomed to participate in this project.

How Developing Cognitive Control Effects Processing of Passives - Huang Research Group - This study aims to understand how children learn the meaning of words and grammatical structures, and how they learn to use this information to interpret sentences in real time. The researchers will present spoken sentences and use eye-tracking methods for written words presented on a screen in order to understand language on a moment-to-moment basis. They are interested in learning how much of a sentence children need to hear to identify an item that is being described.

DLL Sentence Comprehension in Referential Scenes Using Verb Bias - Huang Research Group - This project aims to compare the performance of a group of monolingual 4-6 year olds with a group of dual language learners. This project will consist of two sessions, the first of which will utilize eye-tracking materials, and the second of which will involve a vocabulary test. Overall this study will examine whether dual language learners are using syntactic verb biases to the same degree as their monolingual peers during sentence comprehension.

Teacher-Child Interaction Training with Emotion Coaching (TCIT-Eco): Development of an Early Intervention - UMD ADHD Lab - This project involves training multiple CYC teachers on an adapted version of TCIT, a school-based program shown to help teacher classroom behavior management and reduce disruptive behavior for at-risk students. The goal is that this newly developed program will provide one set of strategies to help teachers intervene with a range of classroom behaviors, thus, helping all children benefit more from academic instruction.

Do Children's WH-medial Insertion Errors Arise From Grammatical Differences or From Memory and Executive Function? - Lidz Research Group - To understand how children form questions, and how this is connected with memory and planning, this study involves your child watching several short videos and asking Snuggles the Turtle some questions about the videos. Your child would also play a memory game on a computer, look at a picture book, and play notes on a toy piano.

Do Quantifiers Alleviate Children's Difficulties With Passive Sentences? - Lidz Research Group - Members of the Lidz research group are interested to know how children in specific age ranges understand certain types of sentences. The second study involves looking at some stories on a laptop, and listening along with a puppet. After each story, the puppet tries to describe what happened in the story, and your child will be asked to help teach the puppet by telling the puppet when they got the description right and when they didn't.

Eliciting Modals in Constrained Contexts to Discern How Children Use Force and Flavor at Different Stages in Development - Lidz Research Group - The third study from this group involves your child watching some video clips of narrated stories, but the audio gets interrupted by a "glitch" several times. Your child is asked to tell a puppet what they missed, so that we can see what words kids at this age choose to fill in the missing piece.

Cross-Linguistic Comparison of Children's Understanding of False Belief Reports - Lidz Research Group - This research group has found that children understand some sentences differently, based on which character's perspective they are focused on. Their fourth study involves your child watching some stories with characters playing hide-and-seek, and a puppet trying to remember who hid where, or who searched where. Your child will be asked to help teach the puppet by telling the puppet when they got it right and when they didn't.

An Observational Study of Children’s Play Behavior Over Time - Rubin Research Group - This is an observational study that will look at how children play and interact with peers during free play in the classroom and how that behavior might change over time. Children will be observed on two different days for about an hour. The observations will be repeated after an 8 week period in order to evaluate any changes over time to play behaviors.

Children's Evaluations of Helpful People - Beier Research Group - The aim of this research is to understand how children form impressions of other people based on their helpfulness and non-helpfulness towards others. Children participating will watch a series of short videos depicting various scenarios where characters are either helpful or non-helpful. They will then be asked a series of questions to investigate whether children form favorable or unfavorable impressions of helpers and non-helpers.

How Children Understand Language in Difficult Listening Conditions - Edwards Research Group - The purpose of this project is to better understand how children comprehend language in difficult listening conditions, including listening to sentences in an unfamiliar variety of English or having to ignoring irrelevant information when hearing words or sentences.  Your child will play a computer game that involves listening to words and sentences and clicking on the picture that goes with what they hear, and our eye-tracking camera will track where they look on the screen as they listen. Ultimately, we hope to learn from this project about how to develop new methods to support children who experience difficulty understanding language in daily life.