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Industry & the Arts

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Scientific Partnership with Baby Product Company Etta Loves

The Sussex Baby Lab has formed a 3 year collaboration with Etta Loves, a science-led baby product company. Together, we want to understand how babies perceive patterns and how preference for particular patterns develop. We know that the infant visual system is receptive and responsive to patterns. Now, using eye-tracking and image analysis, we are conducting experiments to investigate how visual perception tunes into the environment during development, and the role that this plays in the development of aesthetics. We will apply our scientific findings to optimise pattern and image design for Etta Loves.


ColourSpot: an iPad app for testing Colour Vision Deficiency in Children

We were funded by the European Research Council to develop and evaluate a new test of Colour Vision Deficiency (colour blindness) suitable for young children. We worked with the app company Milo to design an animated iPad game and embedded our own psychophysics and iPad colour calibrations. We then tested the resulting app, ColourSpot, on 800 4-7 year old boys and showed that the test classifies colour vision deficiency in children more decisively than the commonly used test. The app has several benefits over other tests - it can be self administered remotely by a teacher or parent, is easily accessible and does not require specialist equipment.  We are currently applying to UKCA mark ColourSpot so that it can be used to screen children for colour vision deficiency when they start school.  


Commissioned Research by AkzoNobel Ltd

AkzoNobel, the global manufacturer of paint (and the Dulux brand), commissioned us to conduct a year long research project to investigate the effect of colour on children in the classroom. We found that school children's performance on a test battery was slightly hampered when children completed the test in a red booth, with no effect of other colours.  We also reviewed the evidence for the effect of classroom environment on children's educational performance. 


Consultancy on Colour Preference for paper company G.F Smith

G. F. Smith, a producer of high quality paper for the art and design industry, conducted the largest ever online survey of colour preference.  We provided consultancy on reviewing the literature on colour preference, interpreting the analysis of their data set, and extracting key messages from the findings. 


Consultant for Award-Winning Professional Baby Drama Productions

We have worked with two professional drama companies, weaving Baby Lab findings into the creation of drama productions for babies.  Flying Eye's 'GLOW' and Filskit's 'Kalaidescope' both had rave reviews and toured the UK.


Scientific Partnership with Baby Product Company Cosatto Ltd

The Sussex Baby Lab had a 3 year partnership with Cosatto who make colourful patterned prams, pushchairs and other baby products. We conducted studies to learn more about how babies see and respond to colourful patterns. Our findings were shared with Cosatto to enable them to optimise their designs and products for how babies see, think and learn.

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Baby Art Gallery with the British Science Festival

As part of the British Science Festival, we curated an art gallery for babies.  We gave artists an outline of infant visual perception and asked them to produce artworks that were tailored to this.  We then eye-tracked babies whilst looking at each art work, producing heat maps of what babies look at in the art.  We showed the heat maps alongside the art at a pop-up gallery in the children's section Brighton library, and gave talks on how babies see and respond to art to the public and families who attended.

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Short Animated Science Communication Film on Infant Perception

With our industrial partners Etta Loves, and the production company Gusto, we produced a 3 minute animated film to explain infant visual perception to parents, early years educators and the public.

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Sea & Sky, Touch, Look & Learn Baby Books

We worked with the children’s book publisher Child’s Play to help them develop the Look, Touch, Learn series of tummy time books.  We shared Baby Lab research on how babies see and think, advised on colours and shapes, and gave feedback throughout the design process to optimise the book for baby vision.

Contact us for more information about our research.

Industry & the Arts: Impact and Industry
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