Experiment descriptions YOUth Baby & Child


All pregnant women are asked to visit us at 20 and 30 weeks gestational age for an advanced fetal neurosonograpy to study fetal brain development. Using ultrasound we scan the fetal brain for 3D volumes and in addition the fetal biometry (abdominal circumference, head circumference and femur length)  and Doppler studies (cerebral medial artery, umbilical artery and the uterine arteries) are performed. 

Computer task 

Measured in wave Around 3 Years.

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Task (PPVT) – elaborate method description. 
To measure a child’s receptive vocabulary. Using a touch screen, a child has to select each time which out of four pictures matches best the word the child hears. This tasks lasts approximately 15 minutes (until the task becomes too difficult).


Measured in waves: 5 months (except face emotion), 10 Months, Around 3 Years, Around 6 Years.

  • Coherence: To understand how the connectivity among different areas of the infant brain develops. Infants passively watch 60-second video clips depicting singing women or moving toys while we measure their EEG. This task lasts 3 minutes. 
  • Face house: To understand how the infant brain differentially responds to viewing pictures of faces vs. houses. Infants passively watch pictures of (neutral) faces and pictures of typical Dutch houses while we measure their EEG. This task lasts 4 minutes. 
  • Face emotion: To understand how the infant brain differentially responds to viewing faces with different facial expressions (happy and fear).  Infants passively watch pictures of happy or fearful faces while we measure their EEG. Note that the same faces but with neutral expressions have been presented in face-house task. This task lasts 4 minutes. 


Measured in waves: 5 months, 10 months, Around 3 Years,  Around 6 Years.

  • Infant Face Popout: One of the key research findings that make humans an extraordinary social species is that human faces, above anything else, grab and hold our attention. In adults the power of faces has been widely demonstrated. But already in infancy this interest in faces is apparent. 
  • Infant Pro Gap: The Gap-overlap task (adapted from Elsabbagh, Fernandes et al. (2013)) is a gaze contingent paradigm that measures visual attention shifting between a central and a peripheral stimulus. This is thought to be a key sub process underlying behavioral control. 
  • Infant Social Gaze: The social gaze task is an eye-tracking task at all waves (except pregnancy) that measures a subject’s sensitivity to another person’s gaze direction as a possible cue to predict the location of a next event. Sensitivity to gaze direction is taken as a marker of social competence. 
  • Looking While Listening (only measured in wave Around 3 Years): This eye tracking task is a simplified version of a visual world paradigm, in which every trial presents pairs of familiar images/objects of roughly the same size, accompanied with a pre-recorded Dutch sentence that asks the participant to look at one of these images. 

Parent Child Interaction 

Measured in waves:5 months, 10 months, Around 3 Years, Around 6 Years.

Parent child interaction (PCI) is recorded to allow researchers to code qualitative aspects of the observed interaction between parent and child based on explicitly defined behaviors. The PCI consists of age appropriate structured tasks that include a common mildly stressful event (clean-up and a teaching task), and a pleasant event (unstructured free play). The PCI tasks take about 15 minutes to complete. 

Video tasks 

Measured in wave Around 3 Years.

  • Delay Gratification: The delay of gratification paradigm tests a child’s ability to refrain from touching a gift that is placed in front of them, while the experimenter leaves the room. 
  • Hand Game: The Hand game aims to measure non-verbal inhibitory control in children aged 3 to 5.