Open Lab

Museum study at Miraikan Open Lab

The IRCN babylab conducts an Open Lab museum study at Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, about once a month. The Open Lab is an initiative where researchers and the public come together to create innovative research findings in an open experimental space. This is a great way to experience what an infant study is about.

Museum studies have complementary advantages and disadvantages compared to lab studies. In studies conducted in the lab, we create an environment in which the child can focus on the study. In contrast, a museum study means that children participate in the study amidst a varying, sometimes loud and colorful environment. This means that our study results can show a larger variation compared to lab studies, but that we are able to study a larger group of children in a more natural environment.

In addition to this, museum studies allow us to introduce our work to the general public, and to create opportunities to talk to each other.

How do young children learn words?

Young children seem to learn better from an interaction partner they perceive as social. But what kind of characteristics make an interaction partner social? In the current study, 1-3 year old children play a simple game while looking at a monitor. We observe under which conditions they are able to learn a new word, and how they react to different types of on-screen interaction partners.