University research at Arcadia investigates how toddlers and young children learn to think and talk. The first few years of life are critical for linguistic, cognitive and social development. The generous participation of families like yours makes it possible for us to better understand what happens in these early years.

What Does a Study Involve?

Participation typically involves a single session playing a game with a researcher or student. All the games are different!

For instance, some of our work investigates how children learn to control their own behaviour, and so we conduct games in which they have to override their impulses (like doing scientific versions of Simon Says!).

Other games investigate how children learn and use language, for instance, we teach them new words and see how long they can hold them in memory. There are lots of different types of tasks, but they are always simple for the child to understand and fun, too.

Who Conducts the studies?

Our studies are conducted by a diverse group of researchers and students in the University of Edinburgh. Your children will interact with lecturers, research fellows, and postgraduate and undergraduate students.

All of our students are trained on how to work with children before they conduct studies at Arcadia, and they also spend a few hours getting to know the children before conducting their studies.