Cortisol-Memory Study 


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Recruitment for this study has ended.

Cortisol-Memory Study

     Dr. Laura Thompson, of the NMSU Psychology Department, is conducting this paid research study which
     began in March 2010 and is expected to last until the year 2012
. This research is supported by the National
     Institutes of Health (NIH) and has  received full support from the  NMSU Institutional Review Board. This
     non-profit  study will  benefit the  mother-infant  community  as  a  whole. Specifically, this  study offers an
     opportunity for the Greater Las Cruces community to partake in this informative research process, and gives
     mothers the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of how their babies learn and remember while
     also being financially compensated.

     The purpose of this study is to measure the relationship between cortisol (stress hormone) and memory in
. Saliva samples to determine cortisol content will be collected during each visit using a cotton swab.
     We are currently accepting biological mothers of infants nearing 3 months of age

     Sterile dental roll used in the collection of saliva from mom and  baby

dentalroll1     dentalroll2

    Qualifying mothers  of infants nearing 3  months of age  will begin the first of 4 visits when the infant is 3
     months old and end when the infant is 5 months old. These mothers will be compensated a total of $110
     upon completion of all
four visits and the baby will receive a gift and an  NMSU Baby Lab Graduate t-shirt!


   Moms with infants: For moms starting the study when their babies are 3 months old, the study
    consists of 4 visits.

  1. Participants must be the biological mother of an infant almost 3 months old or be more than 20 weeks pregnant

  2. Your baby must be full term (37-42 weeks, more than 5 lbs at birth)

  3. Your baby must not have any known neurological or sensory impairment.

  4. Mothers must be 18 years or older.

  5. Will you allow us take a picture of you and another of you with your baby. Will you allow your child to be videotaped after he/she is born during the learning activities?

  6. This study consists of 4 visits. In the first visit, we ask that you bring your infant when he/she is 3 months old. Three saliva samples will be taken from both you and your baby so that we can compare cortisol levels with the two different learning activities in which  your baby will participate. (Mom will collect the saliva samples from her baby)The second visit, is 24  hours after.No saliva samples will be taken and both experiments are repeated. We are strictly interested in your infant's memory of the activities the previous day.

    The third and fourth visits are similar to the 1st and 2nd visit, but your infant will be 5 months old when the activities are repeated. You will be compensated a total of $110 upon completion.

  7. Will you be able to complete all 4 visits?

  8. You and your baby's saliva will be taken 3 times during the first and third visits.

  9. Description of the learning activities (Mom always stays in the same room with her baby)

    1. Activity 1: While lying in a crib, your baby will be positioned in a crib face up viewing a computer monitor overhead. To keep your baby from rolling over, a stretchy band over the tummy area will be used to gently support baby. In order to record the kicking motion, little stretchy bands which are attached to a ribbon, will be placed around each ankle. The ribbon, in turn, will be connected to a joystick. Your baby will be recorded while watching a picture, an animation, and/or a cartoon (Mom observes close by but out of baby's sight).

    2. Activity 2: While sitting in a car seat/high chair your baby will watch a cartoon and listen to different mom's voices in different pitches. Your baby's attention and emotional responses will be video recorded during this process (Mom observes close by but out of baby's sight).

  10. Each visit is expected to last between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.



Scheduled appointment times: 8:30am, 10:00am, and 11:30am from Monday-Friday
(Appointments can only be scheduled in the morning when cortisol levels are highest)

To schedule an appointment, please send us an email to: babylab@nmsu.edu or
call us at (575) 646-7356.

Thank you!!!





New Mexico State University
College of Arts and Sciences
Psychology Department

Science Hall, Room #179
Las Cruces, NM, 88003
(575) 646-7356