YOUth Data Collection

An extensive data set is generated, including 3D-ultrasound sweeps of the foetal brain, eyetracking, EEG, (f)MRI, computer tasks, cognitive measurements and parent-child observations. We also collect a broad range of questionnaires on behaviour, personality, health, lifestyle, parenting, child development, use of (social) media and more. Finally, (umbilical) blood samples, buccal swabs, saliva and hair samples are collected at each visit, and stored in the UMC Utrecht Biobank

Prospectus 

A complete overview of the data collection can be found here. Our catalogue with item-level descriptions is under preparation, and will be added here when available.

Experiment Description

Baby & Child

3D-echo

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. More information.

Computer task 

(around 3 years old)

  • 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). More information.  

EEG 

(around 5 months (except face emotion), 10 months, 3 years, 6 years old)

  • 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. More information.
  • 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. More information.  
  • 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. More information. 

Eyetracking 

(around 5 months, 10 months, 3 years, 6 years old) 

  • 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. More information.
  • 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. More information.
  • 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. More information.
  • Looking While Listening (around 3 years old): 
    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. More information. 
     

Parent Child Interaction 

(around 5 months, 10 months, 3 years, 6 years old) 

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. More Information.

Video tasks

(around 3 years old)

  • 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. More information
  • Hand Game:
    The Hand game aims to measure non-verbal inhibitory control in children aged 3 to 5. More information.
Graphic overview of data collection Baby & Child
Child & Teenager

Computer tasks

(Around 9, 12 and 15 years old)

  • Peabody:
    To measure a child’s receptive vocabulary. A child selects which out of four pictures matches best the word the child hears. This task lasts approximately 15 minutes (until the task becomes too difficult). More information.
  • Cyberball: 
    This paradigm measures constructs of prosocial behaviour related to empathy as it investigates whether a child actively compensates for other children’s behaviour who are suddenly excluding a third child in a ball-throwing game. More information.
  • Penn:
    The Penn CNB is a computerized neurocognitive test battery developed at the University of Pennsylvania. We included three subtasks of this battery that capture two specific cognitive domains: verbal memory (short term and delayed verbal memory tasks) and emotion recognition. More information.
  • Trust game: 
    This paradigm tests participants’ willingness to trust others and reciprocate other’s trusts in a social context, both of which serve as proxies for prosocial behaviour. More information.
  • Delay discounting task:
    The delay discounting task is typically considered an index of impulsive behaviour. Children are asked to make a choice between an immediate small reward and a delayed larger reward. More information

Eyetracking

(Around 9, 12 and 15 years old)

  • Child Gap prosaccade & antisaccade : 
    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 behavioural control. More information.
  • Child 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. More information.

Intelligence quotient

(Around 9, 12 and 15 years old)

  • WISC-V:
    Intelligence is estimated with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children in the fifth edition (WISC-V Dutch version, Wechsler, 2018).  We assess the following seven subtests: vocabulary, block design, similarities, coding, matrix reasoning, figure weights, and digit span. Because the Dutch WISC-V was released after the start of the study, we started with the third edition (WISC-III Dutch version, Wechsler, 2003) and then switched to the WISC-V just after its release in 2018. We assessed six subtests of the WISC-III: vocabulary, block design, smiliraties, coding, arithmetic, and digit span. More information.

Mock scanner

(Around 9, 12 and 15 years old)

  • Inhibition experiment

MRI

(Around 9, 12 and 15 years old)

All magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were acquired on a Philips Ingenia CX scanner operating at 3 tesla, using a 32-channel SENSE head-coil.

  • Anatomy experiment
    A structural MRI scan is acquired to assess morphology of the brain. From these scans, volumetric measurements, cortical thickness, surface area and gyrification can be inferred. More information.
  • Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI):
    High resolution multi-shell diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) scans are acquired that allow us to investigate the microstructure of brain tissue. More information.  
  • Resting state functional MRI scan 
    We record brain activity while the subject is asked to lay still in the scanner. Using this recording, we aim to provide measures of intrinsic brain connectivity patterns. More information. 
  • Inihibition task for functional MRI
    The stop-signal anticipation task for functional MRI aims to measure performance and brain activation during actual stopping as well as during the anticipation of stopping. More information.
  • Face/house task for functional MRI 
    The face/house task for functional MRI is geared towards activating face processing areas in the brain. Children are presented with pictures of faces and of houses, in a semi-random order. To ensure children are paying attention, they are instructed to press a button when a red dot appears. More information

Parent Child Interaction

(Around 9, 12 and 15 years old)
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 behaviours. The PCI consists of age appropriate structured tasks that include a common mildly stressful event (discussing a difficult topic), and a pleasant event (discussing a pleasant topic). The PCI tasks take about 15 minutes to complete. More information. 

Graphic overview of data collection Child & Adolescent
Add-on studies

Researchers with new research ideas are encouraged to develop “add-on” studies in cooperation with YOUth. Any proposal for additional data collection is reviewed by the Executive Board in terms of feasibility, practical issues and ethical considerations. The following add-on studies have been approved:

  • Dual-eye tracking:
    To assess the feasibility and utility of a promising new method to study social gaze behaviour, high-resolution eye-tracking is recorded during parent-child interactions. This innovative method called dual-eye tracking fits perfectly within the YOUth study as it examines how social gaze behaviour is related to YOUth’s two primary outcome measures: social competence and behavioural control. More information.
  • Baby MRI:
    To observe early (micro)structural and functional brain growth and development from foetal to neonatal period with the use of conventional and advanced MRI sequences and sophisticated post-imaging techniques. This MRI study is an important part of the YOUth study as it provides a comprehensive examination and description of the developing brain in the last trimester of pregnancy in more detail and it enables to link perinatal brain development to long-term neurocognitive and behavioural outcome. More information.