What are the general areas of study in the Infancy Laboratory at UC-Berkeley?


            The Infancy Laboratory focuses its studies on periods of especially rapid developmental transitions in the human infant. Currently, we are centering investigations on the very rapid changes that take place in babies between 7 and 9 months of age, and again between 11 and 14 months of age. In the case of the 7-9 month transition, this laboratory has discovered that many of the changes taking place follow the acquisition of experience crawling. Currently, the laboratory is addressing whether the second transition, between 11 and 14 months, is "paced" (interesting word) by the experiences made possible by upright locomotion.


            Target areas for study center on emotion, perception and action, and spatial understanding in the infant.


What does it mean to work as a student or postdoctoral researcher in this laboratory?


            Every laboratory has an explicit or implicit philosophy of education. Our philosophy is premised on the principle of shared, mutual interest in the topic of study. When faculty and student share such an interest and work together to transform points of interest into investigations, synergy results. When interest is not shared, or when it is shared only partially, problems can arise.


            Working together on a common interest can at times result in the student or postdoc becoming a research apprentice, conducting an already planned and well-reviewed research proposal. On other occasions, working together involves co-generating a new research protocol or a new research idea that does not detract from the mission of the laboratory.


            The laboratoryís philosophy of education is usually quite successful. Students have had an extraordinarily high success rate in applications for competitive Federal and Foundation fellowships. In those applications, the philosophy of faculty and student working together has typically been singled out for its mutuality and clear respect for the autonomy of the student and faculty member, while keeping research objectives focused.


            In sum, in our laboratory, reciprocity rules.


What track record does the laboratory have in educating its students?


Many of the students from this laboratory have gone on to make major research contributions in the fields of temperament, perception-action coupling, and especially, infancy and emotion. Some have received distinguished early contribution awards from professional societies. In addition, some of our students have gone on to careers as teachers in primarily undergraduate liberal arts colleges, where the student has judged a better fit between his/her interests and career demands.


How does one apply for admission to study in the laboratory?


            Prospective students should feel free to contact Professor Campos by telephone or email to explore the possibility of pursuing studies in the laboratory. These contacts are very important in identifying whether there exists a true mutuality of interest in both the general and specific research objectives with which the laboratory is engaged.


            Financial support for graduate students is guaranteed for five years by the Psychology Department of UC-Berkeley upon the studentís admission into the Graduate School. Both predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships are available from the Federal Government through competitive applications, and from the Department through our NIMH-sponsored training grant in the study of emotions.