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McMaster Infant Studies Group

At McMaster University, we study how babies learn to see, hear, speak, and interact with other people. Infants and their parents have been participating in these studies at McMaster for over 30 years now, and the research from these studies is widely quoted in medical journals, parenting magazines, and text books. Parents are with their babies at all times and the studies are designed to be easy, short and fun. Free parking is provided and siblings are always welcome.

McMaster University researchers have discovered...


  • Babies would rather look at faces than anything else.
  • Infants can tell red, yellow, and green from grey at birth, but not blue!
  • Attending interactive music classes for infants enhances brain and social development.
  • Babies prefer happy faces to any other facial emotion.


We know all this from research! 

If you are interested in getting involved with infancy and child research at McMaster,
please contact us.


Auditory Development Lab 2014 Participants Newsletter

Laurel J. Trainor, Director
Susan Marsh-Rollo, Research Assistant
905-525-9140 x27114
Elaine Whiskin, Research Assistant 
905-525-9140 x24797,

Under the direction of Dr. Laurel Trainor, the Auditory Development Lab studies how infants hear and respond to speech and music. We are interested in what auditory skills infants possess, how these skills develop, and how we can develop measures to identify children in early infancy who may be at risk for later language or reading problems.


Daphne Maurer and Terri Lewis, Directors
Sally Stafford, Research Assistant 
905-525-9140 x24761

Drs. Daphne Maurer and Terri Lewis, directors of the Visual Development Lab, are examining what the world looks like to very young babies and how their perceptual skills change as they grow. Understanding how babies see the world can help us find ways of detecting visual problems in early infancy.

Child Emotion Lab

Mel Rutherford, Director

Michelle Lohbihler, Research Assistant
905-525-9140 x26032

Dr. Mel Rutherford is interested in how children learn about the social world around them and how they develop the skills needed to be a part of it, as well as early markers of autism. If your baby has a sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, you are eligible for our early autism study! This research will help us develop a fast and easy screening tool for autism in a child's first year.

Louis Schmidt, Director

Ainsley Smith, Research Assistant
905-525-9140 x24798

Babies experience all the primary emotions of joy, anger and fear during the first months of life. Because the ability to regulate emotions plays an important role in development during infancy and early school years, Dr. Louis Schmidt's Child Emotion Lab studies how babies regulate their emotions.


Geoff Hall, Director

Heather Gallant, Research Assistant
905-525-9140 x24784

The activities of the Developmental Neuroscience lab focus on conducting multidisciplinary research in the rapidly growing field of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. By studying the neurological mechanisms that underlie changes in cognitive and affective function across development we hope to improve our understanding of both typical and atypical development.