Eye Tracking and Pupillometry

Here in the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, we often measure children’s eye movements. The reason is that eye movements are one of the first behaviors that newborn babies can control. Eye movements and changes in the size of the pupil can reveal the processes that are being used by children to interpret their surroundings.

The method typically involves a camera that films the eyes of the child as they look at a computer screen or a live situation. The system calculates where the child is looking as well as the size of their pupil with the help of infrared light that is reflected in both the retina and cornea. The infrared light is completely safe and in practice is just like looking at a normal computer screen. Typically the films or situations that children watch are between 5 and 10 minutes long and are designed so that children will think that they’re fun to watch.