Do you have a baby? UBC looking for participants for study on dogs and infants

Calling all things cute and cuddly.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are looking for participants with babies to help with a study looking at whether having a dog in the home contributes to enhanced language development in infants.

Postdoctoral fellow Nicole Sugden and Professor Janet Werker in the UBC department of psychology are trying to figure out whether having a family dog can change infants’ brain response to language or boost their ability to understand an adult, according to a UBC post.

The UBC post says interested families with infants between two and six months of age are invited to participate. Both families with and without pet dogs are eligible.

The researchers say participating infants will take part in “fun tasks” over about an hour at the UBC Infant Studies Centre, and after the study, all babies will receive an honorary UBC degree certificate, as well as a little infant scientist T-shirt.

Parents interested in taking part can sign up online or contact UBC by phone at 604-822-6408 or by email at infants@psych.ubc.ca.

The study is funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, which supports research on animal welfare and the human-animal bond, according to the UBC post.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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