Ask I-LABS Outreach: How Early Does Learning Begin?

I-LABSMedia Coverage, Outreach

It’s common to want to give babies the best possible start in life, and many parents wonder how early they can begin giving their child enriching, brain-building experiences. Photo: Flickr, Jlhopgood In this edition of Ask I-LABS Outreach we turn to a topic that fascinates most people: how early does learning begin? I’ve been studying very early learning for decades. I started … Read More

Ask I-LABS Outreach: Finding Surprising Moments to Read to Kids


child finger pointing to book

How can busy parents fit enriching, brain-building moments that come from reading to children into an already packed schedule? One parent talks about how she made reading to her daughter part of her routine. My enthusiasm for reading goes back a long way. My father likes to tell the story of how I used to toddle up to him as a young … Read More

Ask I-LABS Outreach: How Do Babies Learn Two Languages at Once?


baby looking at camera

Learn the science behind the linguistic genius of babies, and get tips on how to nurture multilingual development in young children. Very early childhood is the best time to learn multiple languages. Children who experience two languages from birth typically become native speakers of both—something that rarely happens in adulthood. How do babies do it? At I-LABS, I study brain … Read More

Ask I-LABS Outreach: How Similar is Theater to I-LABS Research?


kids in costume

Six reasons why working in I-LABS research is like working in theater, provided by a special guest contributor. At first blush, you might think that all that young children and theatrical actors have in common is a tendency to be, shall we say, a touch dramatique? So when I-LABS recently had the pleasure of hosting a student with acting experience, we … Read More

Music Improves Baby Brain Responses to Music and Speech

I-LABSPublication, Research

Children playing with musical toys

New I-LABS findings reveal that a musical intervention helped babies learn to detect rhythmic patterns, a skill important for both music and speech. The study, published the week of April 25 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech … Read More

Bilingualism Gives Baby Brains Practice in Executive Function

I-LABSPublication, Research

baby and parent

The latest I-LABS discovery reveals that bilingual baby brains have increased activity in executive function regions, suggesting early cognitive benefits to learning multiple languages. The new findings, published online April 4 in Developmental Science, underscore the importance of early childhood as the optimum time for learning multiple languages. The study is the first to use magnetoencephalography to compare whole-brain responses … Read More

Ask I-LABS Outreach: What’s the Big Deal About Screen Media?

I-LABSOutreach, Research

young students

How do we make good choices about our children’s use of screen media? The I-LABS Outreach team gives an update on the science and practical strategies for parents. Oh, screen media. A favorite TV show, app, video game, or other digital entertainment can hold—and sometimes consume—a child’s attention. It’s a convenient tool for parents who need an uninterrupted moment to … Read More

Training the Brain to Maintain Attention


marissa with researchers

A study underway at I-LABS uses neurofeedback to help train the brain to maintain attention while reading. Upon receiving her ADHD diagnosis at age 17, Marissa Pighin remembers her first interaction with her doctor as, “‘I’ll write you a ‘script and send you out the door.’” Pighin, now 22 and a UW psychology honors student, thought that there must be … Read More

Ask I-LABS Outreach: How can I make my child exceptionally smart?


students raising hands in classroom

The question comes in different forms. Parents ask, “What can I do to make sure my child is successful later in life?,” “How can I help my toddler be ready to enter kindergarten?,” and even “I want my child to be gifted—what can I do to ensure that?” In this inaugural installment of a new series “Ask I-LABS Outreach,” we’ll … Read More

Ask I-LABS Outreach: Announcing a New Series


outreach team 2016

When they’re out on the road, the I-LABS Outreach team fields a lot of the same questions from parents, educators and others working with young children. People are concerned about pressure to make kids smart and bilingual. They want guidance on allowing digital media in their home. They’re curious about brain development. They all want to know how to give … Read More