Unife BabyLab





The lab, opened in 2014, is located at the maternity ward (3-C-1) of the Sant’Anna University Hospital, Cona - Ferrara (http://www.ospfe.it/l-azienda). Here we observe newborn infants aged from 8 to 72 yours. The aim of the research is to explore newborns perceptual and cognitive competencies. In particular, we aim to study the ontogenesis of sensorimotor representations and their role in the development of cognitive functions.

Unife Babylab was funded by PRIN (Programmi di Ricerca Scientifica di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale) 2010-2011 grant to Laila Craighero (2010XPMFW4_002).








At present we are recording the eye movement to verify visual stimuli discrimination ability in the first days of life. The newborn is seated on an infant seat, 30 cm in front of the screen (at this short distance the baby can see quite well).

The infant’s eyes are aligned with a white flickering square, located in the middle of the screen, which is used to attract newborns’ attention before the starting of each trial. A video camera, located above the display, records participants’ eye movements to monitor their looking behavior on-line and to allow off-line coding of their fixations. To prevent interference from irrelevant distractors, peripheral vision is limited by two black panels placed on both sides of the infant. Newborns are tested only if awake and in an alert state, and after their parents have provided informed consent.

All the experimental procedures are approved by the local ethical committee (Protocol n. 87-2013).


See Video