A Novel Experimental and Analytical Approach to the Multimodal Neural Decoding of Intent During Social Interaction in Freely-behaving Human Infants

J Vis Exp. 2015 Oct 4;(104):53406. doi: 10.3791/53406.


Understanding typical and atypical development remains one of the fundamental questions in developmental human neuroscience. Traditionally, experimental paradigms and analysis tools have been limited to constrained laboratory tasks and contexts due to technical limitations imposed by the available set of measuring and analysis techniques and the age of the subjects. These limitations severely limit the study of developmental neural dynamics and associated neural networks engaged in cognition, perception and action in infants performing "in action and in context". This protocol presents a novel approach to study infants and young children as they freely organize their own behavior, and its consequences in a complex, partly unpredictable and highly dynamic environment. The proposed methodology integrates synchronized high-density active scalp electroencephalography (EEG), inertial measurement units (IMUs), video recording and behavioral analysis to capture brain activity and movement non-invasively in freely-behaving infants. This setup allows for the study of neural network dynamics in the developing brain, in action and context, as these networks are recruited during goal-oriented, exploration and social interaction tasks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Social Behavior*