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For Parents

Image of a mother & child enjoying a study with Dr. Brand

In our playroom on the campus of Villanova University, we create situations that are safe and fun for children, and then we watch carefully to see how they react. By studying the way babies behave in different situations, we learn more about how their minds work.

Click here to learn about some current studies.


Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when my child participates in a study?

When you visit our lab we will start by helping your child get comfortable in the room and with our researchers by playing with some toys. Then we will begin the study, which usually consists of watching a short video, listening to some audio clips, or playing with toys.

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Will I be with my child?

Yes, you will be with your child at all times.

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Can I bring my other children who are not participating in a study?

Of course! Please let us know if your other children will be accompanying you and a student in our lab will be there to play with them during the study.

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How long will a visit take?

A visit is usually about 30 minutes, but please plan for about 45 minutes to an hour so that we have extra time to describe the study to you and to ensure your child is comfortable.

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What age children are eligible for a study?

We are currently working with children from 6 months to 3 years old. If your child is younger than 6 months though, we would still love for you to contact us! We will make sure we get in touch with you when your child is in an eligible age range.

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When are appointments scheduled?

We can work around your schedule! Usually we try to schedule Mondays-Fridays from 9-5 but if you are unavailable then we can work with you to schedule nights and weekends.

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How can I schedule an appointment?

Please call our lab at 610-619-4749 or email us: or

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Where do I go? Is there parking available for me?

Our lab is located in Tolentine Hall on the Villanova University campus. We have a reserved spot right outside our building just for you! A researcher will greet you outside and walk you to our lab. When you schedule an appointment with us we will send you a map of campus to make sure you can find us easily.

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Cognitive Development Project

About Dr. Brand

Dr. Rebecca Brand
Dr. Brand is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Cognitive Development Project.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from Vassar College and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.  She has been at Villanova since 2002.  Her interests include many aspects of infant cognitive development and learning, especially how babies learn from and about other people.  Her work has been funded by Villanova Summer Research Funding as well as by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Rebecca Brand

Quotes from Parents

"C. was thrilled to have undivided, friendly attention from a group of people and was happy to play with the toys provided"

" I found it fascinating to see what kinds of things they were studying based on certain hypotheses. While every child’s development is on its own schedule, as a parent, I think it’s helpful to have guidelines."