Some Questions Our Research Explores


  • How do families and communities nurture the brain development of infants and young children?
  • Why do some children thrive despite adversity while other children with similar experiences face more developmental challenges?
  • How do parents help their children to regulate stress?
  • Can we identify patterns of brain activity that predict young children’s ability to learn, pay attention, develop social skills, and manage emotions?

Update: We are currently doing both studies in-lab (SAM) and over the phone or Zoom (BASS and PATH). All studies are scheduled at times that are convenient for you and your child.


Currently Enrolling Participants

Behavior and Sleep Screening (BASS):

Age: 2- and 3-year-olds

Description: This study seeks to understand young children’s sleep and behavior better.  During this study, a researcher will interview you over the phone regarding your child’s sleep and behavior. At the end of the study, you will receive $10 and may qualify for and be invited to participate in a larger study on children’s sleep and behavior, PATH.

Length: 30 minutes (over the phone)

Payment: You will receive $10 for participating in BASS.


Parents Advancing Toddler Health (PATH):

Age: 2- and 3-year-olds

Description: This study seeks to determine which parent coaching programs are the most engaging and helpful for families whose toddlers have sleep and behavior problems. English and Spanish-speaking parents would receive one of three possible parent coaching programs: sleep, behavior, or safety. Over the course of a year, parents would participate in weekly video calls for the parent coaching program for two months, plus four research video calls.  

Length: Weekly parent coaching program video calls for two months, plus four research video calls.

Payment: You will receive UP TO $260 for completing all parts of the study. You will also receive a free electronic tablet, free children’s books, and a free parent coaching program.


Study of Autobiographical Memory (SAM): 

Age: 4-year-olds

Description: This study is interested in how young children develop the ability to remember their past experiences. Additionally, we want to know how mothers can support memory development. Participation in the study involves one in-lab visit in which the child will play games, the mother and child will tell stories, and researchers will collect a small sample of the child’s hair.

Length: 1.5-hour lab visit

Payment: You will receive $30 and $5 parking or travel reimbursement for the lab visit.


Developing Belief Network (DBN): 

Age: 4-10-year-olds

Description: The BEE Lab is a collaborator in the Developing Belief Network, led by the University of California, Riverside, and Boston University. The five-year study examines the acquisition and transmission of religious cognition and behavior in 20 countries around the globe and the impacts of sociocultural context and social learning on these processes. The international network allows for mixed methods and cross-cultural comparisons of how cognition and beliefs develop. Our team leads the research site in Greater Tzaneen, South Africa, collaborating with Dr. Peter Rockers in BU Global Health and Dr. Denise Evans of the University of Witwatersrand. For more information on this innovative project, check out

Interested? Call us at 617-353-9328, or email us at

Not in these age ranges, but still interested in participating in a study? Check out all current studies from the BU Child Development Labs, or fill out our parent interest form!


    Join Us!

    We rely upon our families to help us learn more about how kids develop. We would love to meet you!

    Do you think you might like to participate in a study with your child, either now or in the future?

    Sign up now!

    Contact Us

    Information for Students

    Want to volunteer? Research Assistants in the BEE Lab learn about developmental neuroscience techniques and behavioral research while working with young children and their parents. A friendly personality and prior experience with children are essential!

    Interested? Find out more!