The Daily Activity Lab, led by Dr. Kaya de Barbaro, examines day-to-day activities and interactions between mothers and their infants in extended naturalistic home sessions (72 hours+) using a mobile sensor suite. The goal of this work is to access the basic mechanisms of early social-emotional development and to develop mobile interventions for cases of high risk, such as the transmission of risks for depression from mothers to infants.
Our lab uses wearable sensors to study how daily activities of mothers and their infants contribute to their development and well-being. We use various sensors (including some similar to a Fitbit) to access our participants’ activity “in the wild” –that is, in day-to-day, real-world settings. Whereas Fitbit helps people meet fitness goals by tracking steps, we are interested in learning about development by tracking activities that we believe matter for long-term outcomes. For example, we want to track caregivers’ mood and sleep patterns over the course a week, or playing, talking and soothing interactions infants have with their caregivers. Interested students will have the opportunity to gain experience in community-based research, participant interaction, data collection, and/or analysis of mobile-sensor data streams. We will work in an interdisciplinary team bridging developmental science, clinical psychology, computer science, human-computer interaction, and electrical engineering. All of our research activities will be virtual through Spring 2021.
We are looking for eager, motivated and detail-oriented undergraduate students with a strong GPA. Interest in the research process is essential, but prior research experience is not required. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the project we welcome students from various disciplines including psychology, computer science, human development and family studies, and electrical engineering. Fluent/native Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply! Students must commit an average 10 hours per week for three semesters, or 15 hours per week for two semesters in order to be considered. Course credit is available. If you are interested, send a copy of your CV/Resume and unofficial transcript (screenshots of online grade-viewer are fine) to firstname.lastname@example.org.