Project 1: Illinois Kids Development Study

A research partnership: Carle Foundation Hospital Research
and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Project 1: 4-5 Months of Age

In our research lab on campus, infants sit on their caregiver’s lap and watch two events (possible and impossible) in an apparatus similar to a puppet stage.  Hidden observers watch the infant during the test to measure how long the infant looks at the events.4-5month test


In both events, a hand places a cube against a platform and releases it.  In the possible event (A), the cube is supported.  In the impossible event (B), the cube has no support, appearing to float.

At 4-5 months of age, most girls look longer at the impossible event, suggesting they are surprised when the cube does not fall.  Boys, however, look equally at the two events. 

We want to see if prenatal exposure to BPA and phthalates alters this sexually dimorphic pattern of responses.