Only sixteen months old and my son has already made four separate contributions to science! I'm so proud.
On monday we went to babylab, Oxford's centre for research into child psychology. Orso had to watch a video showing different objects traveling down a tunnel, while a gaze tracker checks where he is looking to see if he has formed expectations based on categorisation yet. He got a very nice t shirt for his troubles.
This is the third time we've been to the lab. Anyone can sign their baby up to the register and you'll then be contacted when there are trials running which need participants in your baby's age group. The activities are all fun and totally non-invasive, and you get a free t shirt each time! Oh and you get to help Science too.
Orso's first ever experiment was while he was still on the inside. We went along to see Liz Braithwaite at Perinatal Psychopathology and Offspring Lab to watch a video and spit into some tubes to help her find out about the effects of maternal stress on the neonate's cortisol levels. She followed up by having me gather some of Orson's saliva when he was a few days old. It's a cool experiment, and a topic about which rather little is known, so I'm keeping a keen eye out for the results here.
I thoroughly recommend that other new mothers take their little ones along to be scientific guinea pigs. Its not like you're busy or anything right ; )