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ToddlerLab crowdfunding campaign exceeds £30,000 target

The funds raised will go towards buying equipment for Birkbeck’s new ToddlerLab and enable research into developmental conditions like autism and ADHD.

A crowdfunding campaign for equipment for Birkbeck’s new ToddlerLab has exceeded its target and raised a final total of £37,871 from 260 donors. This is the first crowdfunding campaign Birkbeck has run.

The funds raised will go towards buying state-of-the-art equipment and technology for the ToddlerLab, including wireless headsets which can monitor toddlers’ brain activity while they run around and play, and the CAVE, an audio-visual, immersive, virtual reality, environment which can transport toddlers to different surroundings to see how they react to different scenarios and stimuli. This will enable Birkbeck scientists to expand on their research into developmental conditions like autism and ADHD and how they present in young children.

Donors are able to claim ‘perks’ based on the value of their donation, ranging from a thank you video from the ToddlerLab toddlers, to a ‘Young Scientist’ t-shirt, to a hard-hat tour of the new ToddlerLab building.

Professor Denis Mareschal, Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) at Birkbeck said: “We are absolutely delighted that the world’s first Toddler Lab will benefit from these funds which will go towards wireless technology so the toddlers can move around freely while their brain activity is monitored. The generosity of the 260 people who supported the campaign will help us explore earlier interventions that will help transform the lives of children with developmental conditions such as autism and ADHD.”

The ToddlerLab builds on the work of Birkbeck’s BabyLab, which has been investigating the psychological processes in infants’ brains for the past 20 years. The BabyLab scientists have identified the earliest marker of autism in babies, examined the links between Down’s syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease and investigated the effects of screen time on babies as young as six-months-old, among other world-leading research projects.

News about the crowdfunding campaign featured in several media outlets, including the Psychologist, the Evening Standard, iNews, Special Educational Needs and Birkbeck’s local paper, the Camden New Journal

The construction of the ToddlerLab building is being made possible thanks to generous donations from alumni, friends and foundations including:

  • The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation
  • The Wolfson Foundation
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Elizabeth and Daniel Peltz 

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