I-LABS Research Sheds Light on Teen Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

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I-LABS researchers Dr. Andrew Meltzoff and Makeda Mayes, together with their colleagues at UW and Harvard University, have co-authored a new study on teen mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study provides important insights about how adolescents are coping with the COVID crisis and how families can promote resilience in teens and pre-teens. This research indicates that high exposure to … Read More

The National Academies are Working to Disrupt Implicit Bias

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Implicit bias can lead to structural inequities in education, medicine, employment, and the justice system.  The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently convened a multi-disciplinary group of experts to develop strategies for disrupting this process.  I-LABS has been working on these issues, so I-LABS co-Director Andrew Meltzoff was well positioned to speak to the National Academies audience about … Read More

Human Infants Can Override Possessive Tendencies to Share Valued Items with Others

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Scientific Reports, 2021, 11:9635 Download publication here Rodolfo Cortes Barragan & Andrew N. Meltzoff Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, University of Washington Email to: barragan@uw.edu; meltzoff@uw.edu In adults, the feeling of possessiveness that we have toward certain favorite objects can be overridden by a counteracting tendency—the tendency for generosity and sharing with other people. As adults, we often want to retain our money and … Read More

I-LABS Research Identifies Cooperative Health Indicators

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In order to slow the spread of COVID, health officials need people to adhere to health guidelines. But which people are most likely to follow these guidelines? New I-LABS research may suggest some answers. Working in collaboration with colleagues from the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, Rodolfo Cortes Barragan and Andrew Meltzoff created an innovative online study that reached … Read More

TIME Features I-LABS Research on Infant Altruism

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Time. Power of Kindness

 I-LABS scientists (Barragan, Brooks, & Meltzoff) published a paper on baby altruism. They found that infants help others even when that involves giving up things of value to themselves (Scientific Reports, 2020 ). The researchers also highlight social learning experiences at home that predict baby altruism. TIME magazine (Oct. 2020) featured this work in a special edition on “The Power of Kindness.”

National Academy of Sciences Issues Early Childhood Call To Action

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The National Academy of Sciences issues Briefs only when scientific consensus on a topic is overwhelming.  I-LABS has contributed to a body of research that has met that standard.  The Academy has just issued a Brief about early childhood education that confidently states four findings: Early education improves lives. Access to early education is not equitable, and those children most … Read More

I-LABS Research Sheds Light On Children’s Race and Gender Identities

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The current national conversations about race are both necessary and difficult.  It is important to anchor these conversations in what we know about children’s development. Former I-LABS researcher Onnie Rogers, now a faculty member at Northwestern University, and I-LABS co-Director Andrew Meltzoff investigated the origins of children’s race and gender identities. The research was originally published in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.  Read that article here. … Read More

Communication Skills Predict Programming Aptitude

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Modern programming languages have vocabulary and grammar, just like natural languages.  This observation led I-LABS researcher Chantel Prat and her team to suspect that language skills might be a better predictor than math skills of the ability to learn programming.  Her research showed that it was. These findings have profound implications for how programming languages are taught. The research was … Read More

Altruistic Food Sharing in Infants

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Researchers at I-LABS published a study showing that infants act altruistically, sharing food with unfamiliar people.  This is true even when infants are hungry. This behavior demonstrates that infants systematically override their biological drive in order to engage in prosocial, helpful behavior.   I-LABS co-authors Barragan, Brooks, and Meltzoff published their work in Scientific Reports (part of the Nature publishing group).  … Read More

Parent Coaching Advances Infant Language Development

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Parentese is a style of speech that parents often use with their children.  It has a slower tempo with higher pitch and exaggerated sounds, and it helps children learn language.  Now I-LABS researchers Naja Ferjan Ramirez, Sarah Lytle, and Patricia K. Kuhl have shown that coaching parents in Parentese helps them use it more often.  This leads to improved language … Read More