Child Studies

The Child and Infant Learning and Development (CHILD) Studies Group at Duke University is a group of research labs discovering fascinating things about how children grow and learn. We welcome volunteers between the ages of 2 months and 6 years old for our studies.

Bergelson Lab (BLAB)
PI: Elika Bergelson

We study infant word learning, in particular how infants’ early linguistic and environmental input plays a role in their learning. We focus on understanding how babies learn words from the visual, social, and linguistic world around them.

Recent Publication

Early Childhood Cognition Lab 
PI: Tamar Kushnir

We are interested in the inherently active, playful, and socially-guided ways young children learn about the world around them. We are also interested in the various beliefs that children form about the world -- their intuitive "theories" -- and the ways that these beliefs are shaped by children's engagement with their social and cultural environments. Our lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on theoretical insights from machine learning, philosophy, evolutionary biology, and cultural psychology to inform questions central to how we think and learn. 

Recent Publication

Tomasello Lab
PI: Michael Tomasello

We conduct research on children’s cooperation and communication in evolutionary perspective. Recent topics include: collaboration, commitment, fairness, helping, pointing and iconic gestures, social cognition, joint decision-making, the sense of obligation, and social norms.

Recent Publication

Wilbourn Infant Lab at Duke (WILD)
PI: Makeba Wilbourn

We study how children learn language and how different modes of input, such as gestures, may influence early language and cognitive development. In addition, we are interested in how different cultural backgrounds and linguistic experiences influence children’s language learning.

Recent Publication

Duke Identity & Diversity Lab
PI: Sarah Gaither

We investigate social development with a focus on different social identities, as well as how these social identities shape perceptions and behaviors. Specifically, we are interested in children's understanding of group membership, their perceptions of their own and others' social identities, and how these understandings and perceptions come together to shape cross-group behavior.

Recent Publication

Duke Early Experience and the Developing Brain Lab
PI: Michael Gaffrey

We study infant and early childhood mental health. Current studies include investigating how the brain supports early emotional development in children from 4 through 7 years of age and learning how caregiver use of structured play-based activities can positively alter delays in social development during infancy and toddler-hood.

Recent Publication


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Also Check out these related labs!
Mazuka Lab
PI: Reiko Mazuka
Marsh Lab
PI: Beth Marsh

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