For Parents

Dr. Pathman is proud and grateful to have worked with hundreds of families in Canada and the United States to further knowledge on child development.  Our work would not be possible without families taking time out of their busy schedule to participate in our research.  We provide a fun experience and it is a great way to introduce scientific research to your child and help advance science as a family.  If you have any questions about our work and what we do please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Pathman or the lab ( or 416-736-2100 extension 66152).

To participate in online and in-person research
Sign up HERE


What is the MDLaB?

The MDLaB is a child development research centre directed by Dr. Jeni Pathman.  MDLaB stands for Memory Development Lab, but also Memory Development Learning and Brain.  The MDLaB consists of Dr. Pathman, graduate students and undergraduate student trainees.  We conduct studies in our lab at York University's Keele campus, as well as in local preschools, schools, zoos and museums in the GTA.   Our research provides insight about children's learning, memory and brain development. Participants in our studies are volunteers in the community who generously offer their time to help us with our studies.

Why should I get involved?

The MDLaB is dedicated to learning more about children and their development.  We are a non-profit, university-affiliated organization.  We hope our research will inform educational interventions, give parents deeper insight on children's learning and memory, and ultimately help improve the lives of children and families..  Our lab works with the local community, and your participation is a tremendous help to us.

Taking part in our research is fun for the whole family. Children get firsthand experience with research, all while playing games and having fun!  Parents enjoy watching the process, and seeing how their child responds to the memory games, but this is also an opportunity for parents to relax.  We provide refreshments for parents and children. As a reward, children will receive a Junior Scientist Certificate and small toy/gift/book.  We can also pay for travel costs (campus parking, public transportation etc.) and some of our studies involve additional monetary compensation.

Your participation also enables our students to earn the degree requirements required for their own career goals, whether those involve teaching, research, clinical practice, counselling, and social work, to name a few.

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in participating in our research, you can sign up to be included in our lab family database by filling out this form, calling the lab at 416-736-2100 extension 66152, or by emailing the lab at  You can indicate that you would like to be added to the database, or would prefer to have someone from our lab provide more information first.  The information you provide will be kept confidential.

Later on, once a research study is available that is relevant to your child’s age group, you will be contacted by the lab.  At this time you will be given specific details about the study (what we are studying, what it would involve).  At the point you can decide whether or not you would like to participate.

What will my child do in the lab?

Tasks vary from study to study, but the main goal is to ensure that the child is having fun so questions are asked in the form of age-appropriate games.  In the past, games have been focused on memory tasks.  For example, we ask children to watch images on a computer screen and then later ask questions about the images they saw.  We may also ask children what they remember about events from the past (e.g., first day of school).  This is a great way for your child to engage in what they have learned or experienced. Once a study is available for your child (based on the age group we are enrolling at the moment) we will contact you to give you more information on the specific tasks for that study, and ask whether or not you would like to participate.

How long will my child and I be in the lab?

Although the time does vary, most sessions take an hour.  Before the study begins, we will contact you with specific information regarding time.  You can then decide whether the time commitment matches with your schedule.

Where will I be while my child is tested?

You can either sit with your child while they are playing the games, or you can relax in our waiting area.  It is completely up to you and your child.

Can I still participate in studies if I am unavailable during regular work hours?

You definitely can!  We will accommodate your schedule, and our studies can be conducted over the weekend or in the evenings, if you prefer.

How do I get to the lab?

Our lab is located on the Keele campus of York University.  An interactive map to our building is available on this page.  York is a commuter campus, and so there are several convenient ways to get to us.  In addition to driving to campus, and regular bus services, our building is conveniently located near the Pioneer Village station and the York University station on the TTC Yonge-University line.  When we schedule your visit, we will discuss with you how you will be coming to campus, and we can then decide the most convenient place to meet you on campus.  A lab member will then escort you to our lab.

Do you conduct any online studies?

Yes, we do! Our online studies are in the form of age-appropriate games that can easily be accessed through a computer, phone, or tablet. These studies will be hosted on user-friendly websites that will allow you to engage in a fun manner with the studies!

What if my child decides he does not want to participate anymore?

This is okay!  We understand that a child’s interests and mood can change, so if they decide they do not want to participate anymore, we will end the session.  Your child will still receive a reward whether or not they complete the tasks.  If your child does later on decide they want to participate in another study, please let us know and we will make that happen!

Can I bring my other children with me?

Of course! You are welcome to bring your other children with you. We have a playroom and can provide babysitting services for them if you wish to watch your child participate in the task. Please advise us in advance if you plan to do this so that we can ensure that we have a babysitter available.



Thank you for learning more about our lab and what we do!

We thank our colleagues and friends in the D.U.C.K lab at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for help creating this page.