Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here to answer any questions you have about your child’s contributions to SCIENCE by playing games.  Here’s a few things to get started: 

What are EEG and ECG? What do these techniques involve?

In the CAP Lab, we use EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram)–non-invasive measures (in others words, harmless)–to track children’s brain waves and heart activity.  We have lots of energetic research assistants and toys/games to play with your child while they wear a stretchy cap with sensors on it. The cap looks and fits like a swim cap as you can see in the picture of Dr. Cuevas.

Their hair gets a bit messy/crazy because we put gel into the little holes on the cap. Our brains emit tiny electrical signals, and the caps pick up those signals. Our cap sensors themselves do not give off any signals, they simply pick up signals coming off the surface of the scalp. To measure heart rate, we place two small sticky patches on the back.

What do these studies involve? What will we learn from doing these studies?

In our studies, we play different games with your child to understand how kids learn, remember, and think at different points during development Our “social brain” games involve copying others, while our “cognitive control” games challenge children to do/say the opposite of a natural tendency.  By wearing our EEG & ECG sensors as they play, we gain insight into how brain waves and heart activity are involved in kids’ thinking.

What happens if my child is uncooperative?  

We realize that young children are dynamic individuals–their moods, appetites, interests, etc. can change unexpectedly–and we are flexible!  Occasionally, we need to take a break (or a few) during our games to sing, chat, have a snack, nap, or do something else. You know your child better than we do, and can stop the study at any time with no penalty.  Its OK if there is a point when your child is just done with our games and ready to go home–growing up is hard work!

How long will the study take?

It really depends on the particular study, but they are usually about an hour.  We leave wiggle room between appointments–some children need more time to “warm-up” (or take breaks) than others, and we don’t want to rush them! Other times, families can be running late (or early!)and we want to be ready when science fits best with YOUR schedule.  We also include time for you to fill out paperwork and ask any questions.

Where is the lab located? Is there parking on Campus?

Our lab is located on the UConn Waterbury Campus, Room 337. We offer free and convenient parking in the Campus Parking Garage. As you pull in to Campus Parking Garage, a research assistant will meet you to direct you to the reserved parking spot, provide you with a parking pass, and take you to our lab.

The Campus Parking Garage is attached to the main Waterbury Campus building and is accessible at 49 North Elm Street, Waterbury.  Directions to the Campus Parking Garage can be found here.

have another child. Can I bring him/her to the study?

Siblings are always welcome! We just ask that you let us know in advance so that we can make sure that one of our assistants will be available to “sibling-sit” so that you can be in the room with your other child during the study. We have many toys in our lab that are fun for all ages.

Baby wearing CAP lab bib

Will we receive payment for participation? Are there any costs?

At the moment, we are able to provide $25-75 for participation in our studies. Regardless of funding, your child will receive a certificate of participation (suitable for framing!) and a small lab souvenir (bib or t-shirt). We also believe that your child will find our games fun to play! There are no costs for participating in this study, aside from transportation to our lab. Parking in the Campus Parking Garage will be provided.

Will I receive the results of my child’s performance?

Our studies are designed to investigate the abilities of typically-developing children at specific points in development. Thus, we collect data from large samples of participants and look at average performance of groups of children. In general, we are NOT assessing your child’s intelligence or achievement potential.

Although you will not receive the results of your child’s visit, we post updates on our studies, presentations, and publications on our website. Plus, a SCIENCE trip to college, is a fun experience for you and you child!

Will I be with my child while the study takes place?

You will be with your child at all times.

When are appointments scheduled?

We try to schedule appointments for times when your child is typically awake and playful.  Our appointments are Monday-Friday (9am- 5pm) or Saturday (9am-1pm).

Have more questions?

We would love to chat with you about our research and answer your questions!