Sometimes we study infants' behaviour in their natural social surroundings. We therefore video-tape them in natural situations either at home or during free play sessions in one of the play rooms at our research center. In these sessions, parents are asked to respond to their children as they would normally do.
Other studies are interaction-based, meaning that we interact with the infants through play. We create certain situations and compare infants' behaviors in these different situations. Typically, the situations vary only in one small detail that we are interested in.
In addition to the studies carried out in Nijmegen, we also do comparative field work across various cultures, mostly in collaboration with anthropologists and linguists from the Max Planck Instituut voor Psycholinguistics. For this research, we rely both on natural observation and interaction-based studies, if culturally appropriate.