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April 13, 2018
Seth Pollak, PhD
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Information for Parents

Welcome to the Child Emotion Research Lab!

How to Participate in Our Research:

If you have looked through our web site or have heard about our research and would like to have your child participate, please fill out our registration form to indicate your interest. By filling out the registration form, you have expressed your interest but have not made any commitment to participate. As your child approaches the right age for one of our studies, we will contact you and give you more information about that study. At that time, you can decide whether or not you would like to participate in that particular study.

Other ways to register for participation:

You can also register by calling us at 608-890-2525. We will give you more information about our research and answer any questions you may have. If you decide to participate, we will contact you when your child approaches the right age for one of our studies.

If you have received our Wisconsin International Adoption Project brochure with its tear-off reply card, you can also just return the card. We will call you to give you more information when a new study is beginning for which your child is the right age and you can decide then if you are interested in participating in that particular study.

Please feel free to contact us via email at or by phone at 608-890-2525 with any questions about our research. We are always happy to hear from families.


All information about families who have chosen to register for our research is kept secure and is never shared with anyone outside of our laboratory. All participants in our studies are identified by number rather than by name in all research records, and all records and data are treated as confidential.

What Happens During a Visit?

Our lab is located on the 3rd floor of the Waisman Center (behind the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics). When we schedule your visit, we will provide you with information about where to park and where to meet our researchers.

Giving your informed consent:

When you and your child arrive at our lab we will tell you about the study and answer any questions you have. You will then be asked to read and sign the consent form, indicating that you have been informed about the activities involved in the study and are giving permission for your child's participation. If your child is older than age 11, we will give your child their own form to sign. Regardless of your child's age, we will ensure that all children understand what will happen during their visit.

Experimental sessions:

We use many different kinds of approaches to study child development. The particular approach will be described to you before you agree to participate in any study. Some approaches that we use include computer activities, EEG (measuring brain wave activity) and MRI (looking at brain structure and/or function). Your participation will typically involve 1 or 2 visits to the Waisman Center with each visit lasting from 1-3 hours. Again, this information will be discussed with you before you agree to participate.

As a token of our gratitude for your contribution to child development research, we will pay you or your child for your time with a check or gift certificate. Younger children will also receive a prize to take home. When we describe different studies to you, we will tell you what you or your child will receive for your participation.

What Happens to the Data Collected?

For many of our studies, we code children's computer responses, eye movements and/or brain activity and save this information in electronic form. In some studies, samples of children's saliva, urine, or pictures of their brains are also stored. All information is coded by number, not by name. The information we collect is only used for the purposes described to you in the consent form, not for any other purpose. The results from our studies are typically first presented at a professional scientific conference (never with information identifying any individual participants) and then reported in a scientific journal. Participating families will be contacted with the journal information so that they can read about the results of the study.