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We are investigating how infant social behaviour develops neurologically over the first year of life using a wearable, baby-friendly brain imaging system.  This devices is worn like a hat, and uses red light to safely map the infant brain.  During the first part of the study, the baby will be seated on a parents’ lap and will watch some carefully designed videos while wearing the brain imaging device. We will then continue imaging while the parent plays with their baby to try to make them laugh during the interaction. 

The study will take place at the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University (Downing site) and will last for around 1 hour at most. This will be a one-off study; there are no plans for follow-up studies so it is just the one visit. 

If you are interested in participating in this research study, then please contact either the Cambridge Babylab ( or the ANIMATE team directly (


Lab Members Bio:

Principal Investigator

Dr. Rob Cooper: Dr. Rob Cooper is an EPSRC Early Career Fellow and runs the DOT-HUB research group at University College London (UCL).  His research interests include the development and application of non-invasive neuroimaging technologies, specifically near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse optical tomography.  His current work focusses on the advancement of wearable high-density optical neuroimaging methods for both neuroscience and clinical applications.  Rob’s clinical focus is the newborn infant brain, and he is co-director of Neolab: a long term interdisciplinary collaboration between Engineers and Physicists at UCL and neonatologists at The Rosie Hospital, Cambridge.



Elisabetta Frijia: Elisabetta Maria Frijia is a PhD candidate at the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at UCL as part of the DOT-HUB research group. Elisabetta is particularly interested in the application of non-invasive neuroimaging technologies for both neuroscience studies and clinical settings. Her current work focusses on developing and applying a new generation of wearable high-density diffuse optical tomography technology that uses near-infrared spectroscopy to produce 3D images of brain function. The neonatal clinical application is made in collaboration with the Neolab research group at the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge.


Addison Billing: Addison Billing is a PhD student at UCL in the DOT-HUB (Medical Physics) and Vocal Communication Group (Cognitive Neuroscience). She is interested in the development of the neural circuits that underlie social behaviour disorders such as Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). Her current project examines individual differences in the production and perception of non-verbal vocal communication using a variety of non-invasive neurophysiological and behavioural measures.