What you will see in the BabyLab
Here's how our reception looks, now that it is furnished. Neat isn't it! This is where parents come with their infants and toddlers, for their visits to the Babylab, on the way to our specially designed playrooms.
And on the wall of the reception area, we can use these two remote signs to see what's going on in our two new playrooms.
This way, we will always be able to find out if a playroom is busy, and what stage of the visit our colleagues are up to without disturbing the family who is visiting.
Here you can see our new monitor integrated with an eye-tracker being installed on a lift.
The lift concealed behind the screen will allow us to alter the height of the screen so that it is equally good for working with a small infant on a parent's lap - and for a tall adult watching the screen on their own.
The partitions at the back of the booth hides all of our equipment from view, except for the screen we use to present pictures of animals and objects. With a partition like this, babies coming to play an on-screen game won’t be distracted by cables, switches, cameras or shadows in their field of view. The angled sides of the partition are hinged, so if we need to change or adjust any of our equipment, it’s easy to get in around the back.
Here you can see the control room, which sits between the two new BabyLab playrooms. Researchers are able to monitor behaviour in both of the playrooms simultaneously.
Out in the BabyLab Reception, we now have space for a small kitchenette, so we are able to make tea for our visitors.
And just around the corner, we have a separate washing area for rinsing out caps and EEG materials. It's going to be great having these two sinks separate, so we won't have to worry about getting food in our equipment - or getting salty water in our food!
This is the Green Playroom, with all of the building work finished - this is one of two identical playrooms with electrical shielding concealed within the walls (In some of the previous photographs, you can see the metal sheilding under construction).
The grey wall at the front of the playroom will hold a large monitor, with all of the cables hidden out of sight. Inside the booth, everything is painted grey, so that children will be able to concentrate on the monitor, while they sit with a parent
The curtains can divide off the playroom from the booth, so that toddlers won't be distracted by any toys or furniture outside.
Have a look at our fabulous spongy floor. It's really soft, comfortable to play on, and easy to keep clean. This flooring will be a great advantage in play sessions where BabyLab staff sit on the floor with our infant visitors.
There are grills at the top of the partition doors, so that the back of our computer monitor doesn’t overheat in a sealed space. In the top of the next picture, you can see that the roof is made of metal plates. These metal plates makes contact throughout the walls, the floor and ceiling, and even a specially made door, making a continuous electromagnetic shield called a Faraday cage.This system will dampen outside sources of electrical activity, allowing us to make clean electrical recordings of brain activity inside the playroom. Last time I visited, the plates of sheet-steel had only just been installed so the building is progressing quite quickly now! Inside the walls of our new BabyLab Playrooms will be hidden sheets of steel. These are important for studies where we record brain activity, as the sheet-metal blocks out any electrical activity which might be coming from outside. This allows us to record brain wave activity much more cleanly, leading to more accurate measurements. Soon these metal sheets will be covered with plaster so that our playroom will look completely normal from the inside.