Thank you for your interest in the DOME Lab! We are currently recruiting for:
Find out more about participating and how to sign up here.
Frequently asked Questions:
What does the DOME Lab study?
The DOME lab studies the ways that biological and environmental factors influence emotional development. Our primary biological measures include recordings of neural activity (Electroencephalography, or EEG), heart rate, and levels of stress hormones (Cortisol). Our environmental measures include everything from parent personality to peer relationships and transitions through major life events (e.g., starting school). We also frequently include cognitive measures such as attention and cognitive control. Children enter the lab with a range of comfort and ability with all of our measures and frankly, we prefer it this way! As parents know, all children are different and we want to understand what these processes look like in all types of children.
Where are you located?
We are located on the third floor of the Peterson Building on the TAMU campus. An elevator is available for families who need one.
Is parking available?
Yes. We provide a parking space for you near the Peterson Building.
What ages do you work with?
Dr. Brooker has worked with a variety of ages from infancy through adolescence. Ages of children who are being recruited for studies will vary over time. Visit our participate page for the most current recruitment information.
Will I be with my child the whole time?
It depends on the age of your child. You will be present for all procedures for children under age 5. You may be present for procedures with older children if requested. In some of our work, there will also be games and activities for you and your child to do together.
How are hormones collected from children?
We measure hormone concentrations in saliva samples. Most often, this simply entails children holding a cotton swab under their tongue for roughly 90 seconds or until it is thoroughly wetted. We have found that many preschoolers can collect the saliva samples for us on their own!
What is EEG and how is it collected?
EEG is the electrical activity that is naturally generated by everyone’s brain. We make a recording of the EEG signal using an cap made of stretchy fabric that is placed on your child’s head. Small electrodes are snapped into holders on the cap so that we can record from a variety of locations on the scalp while children play games on our computer. Recordings work best with clean, dry hair that is free of products.
Why are some of your studies collecting DNA?
Some of our studies collect DNA because we know that some of the processes that we study are influenced by genes, but we aren’t yet sure exactly how these processes work. We are interested in identifying whether there might be genetic markers that tell us whether there are ways to steer children’s development toward the best possible outcomes.
If you collect DNA, can you tell me about my ancestry or whether I am at risk for certain illnesses?
Nope. We plan to look only at a small number of genes. Any information that we get from DNA analyses won’t be linked to your name or personal information.
Are there any risks associated with participating that I should know about?
There are no risks associated with any of our procedures beyond those that children experience in their daily lives. All of our procedures were developed for use in research laboratories and are safe for participants of all ages.
Will I be paid for my participation?
We understand that your time is precious and do offer payment to families who participate in our research.