Skip to main content

Birkbeck’s BabyLab features in CBBC’s ‘Operation Ouch!’

The episode showcases current cutting-edge research being undertaken into what happens in babies’ brains during sleep.

Dr Xand van Tulleken (far left) visits Birkbeck's BabyLab

The BabyLab at Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development was recently featured in CBBC’s ‘Operation Ouch!’, the award-winning children’s television series which educates young viewers about the world of medicine and biology through conducting experiments and highlighting fascinating facts about the human body.

Following on from last year’s “Ouch Baby” episodes, TV presenter and medic Dr Xand van Tulleken – one half of the TV doctor duo – joined Birkbeck PhD researcher Louisa Gossé in the lab to discover more about the brain activity of babies when they sleep.

Louisa Gossé said: “The first study of my PhD showed that sleep quality can influence brain measures in infants. However, it’s still poorly understood what happens in the brain during a baby's sleep and how it can impact their development, so I am working to uncover this with my current research study. 

“To demonstrate how I’m carrying out my research, the producers filmed a baby sleeping whilst he wore the bespoke wireless neuroimaging headgear which records electrical activity of the brain and blood oxygenation changes. We created this headgear specifically for this study. When he woke up, we showed him some videos whilst we measured what information he paid attention to with the help of an eye-tracker. By doing this we can find out how he processes information during sleep and how that relates to his attention abilities and his development.”

‘Operation Ouch!’ was broadcast at 5pm on Wednesday 17 February on CBBC and can be viewed on BBC iPlayer. The BabyLab is shown from 10:24 onwards. 

Founded in 1998, the Centre for  Brain and Cognitive Development  is one of the world’s leading centres for studying the way in which babies and young children’s brains  develop.  

Further Information