Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Learning in Infants with Down syndrome

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013

Principal Investigator: Amy Needham, Ph.D.

Other researchers:

Bob Hodapp, PhD


Early experiences are especially helpful for promoting optimal development in all children. However, there is still much to learn about what kinds of early experiences could be beneficial to infants. This research investigates how infants with Down syndrome learn and how the experiences they have early in life may contribute to infants realizing their full cognitive potential.

To participate in our research, you and your infant would come to our playroom on Vanderbilt's campus for 1-3 visits, depending upon the study you participate in.

The one-visit studies take place all within our playroom facility on the Vanderbilt campus. During your visit to campus, we would video record your baby playing with toys and watching others interact with toys.

The multi-visit studies involve an at-home component as well, which would consist of you and your baby playing with some special mittens and toys that help your baby succeed in his or her attempts to reach for and hold the toys. We will ask you to use these toys when you play with your baby once a day until you visit again. On the second and third visits we will watch and video record your baby play again.

If you live within a day’s drive of Nashville and travel is a barrier to your participation, please contact Dr. Needham and discuss your interest in the project. We may be able to travel to your home and conduct the sessions there.

Participant Criteria

2 to 24 month old infants with Down syndrome


$25 and a toy or book

Visit Requirements

1-3 visits, depending upon the study


Download Brochure

Contact Information

Amy Needham

Want to Participate in this Study?

Enter your name and contact information and this study's coordinators will contact you if there are openings available.