Quack Chats to explore what babies see in everyday life

Image shows a baby looking at something with its mother

The view from a scenic overlook high in the mountains is pleasing on the eyes. But does that baby you're holding see the same beauty? Just what do babies see?

Caitlin Fausey, an assistant professor of psychology at the UO, will walk the audience at the Jan. 25 Quack Chats pub talk into the visual universe according to babies. She'll describe what her research capturing day-to-day scenes that babies encounter is unveiling about the incremental steps that build the human visual system.

Her talk will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Erb Memorial Union’s Falling Sky Pizzeria.

"One major way that we learn about the world is through our eyes," Fausey said. "They capture our visual universe. Over the first few years of life, our bodies and activities change and so does our view of the world, literally — with taller bodies, longer arms, greater mobility and emerging social skills, the world that meets our eyes changes dramatically."

Her talk will unveil three new discoveries about how the visual universe of babies comes together.

Fausey directs the Learning Lab in the Department of Psychology. The lab's team, a mix of 20 UO graduate and undergraduate students, explores how infants and toddlers learn to recognize words and objects. Their subjects are children, who are 1 to 24 months old and recruited from families in the region to participate in the lab's projects.

Fausey's pub talk is open to the public. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage in a conversation with the researcher during the presentation. The talk is part of a series of events that falls under the umbrella of Quack Chats, a public outreach initiative led by University Communications.

Run with a Researcher, meanwhile, returns Saturday, Feb. 4. January's event was canceled due to bad weather. Participants can run or walk a few miles with one of UO’s world-class researchers. Meet up at 9 a.m. starting at the Erb Memorial Union’s “O” Desk.