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BabyLab INCLUDE Hannover

III-R: Intersubjective and Intercultural In-Vivo-Research

Prof. Dr. U. Lüdtke

Dr. Bodo Frank

Chantal Polzin, M.Ed.

Aim and motive = INCLUDE

Cultural and social contexts are crucial for the affective and emotional interplay in caretaker-child-dyad, most relevant for early communication and language development.

Latest research in neuropsychobiology uncovers and emphasizes the nurturing character of intimate and intersubjective relationships which drive and govern the developmental trajectory of psychological development right from birth.

The main aim of research at our BabyLab is to identify and explore predictors and indicators of delayed and disturbed development of communication and language by investigating the temporal structure of the motor aspect of relational emotions in semiolinguistic development side by side with investigating the influence of cultural, social and institutional context factors to initiate fruitful changes within communicative dyads within families or institutions whenever vulnerable children are at risk. Therefore we want to include people, ideas, theories and cultures. We want to do research with people to investigate in real-life settings in order to get closer to the traces of most natural ways of interactional styles.

INCLUDE = Relational methodology and methods

We pursue a Relational Methodology which combines approaches in early child development such as e.g. infant intersubjectivity, communicative musicality, cultural-historical psychology, post-structuralism and social constructivism with recent mixed methods designs.

For getting a clearer understanding of how cultural and social conditions influence early communicative motifs and skills, e.g. for investigating the temporal structure, the emotional and affective quality of shared movement patterns and vocal exchange between caretaker and infant, we propose recordings under laboratory conditions, but mostly in vivo under real lifeworld conditions as unobtrusively as possible. In order to achieve this, our BabyLab cooperates closely with Prof. Bodo Rosenhahn from the Institute for Information Processing (Institut für Informationsverarbeitung, TNT) at LUH for further development of the existing  multi-camera system for synchronized and multi-perspective recordings in Inclusive Scientific Research (see Frank & Trevarthen 2015) and secondly, to develop an in vivo-system for additional psycho-physiological data (skin response, gross movement patterns) and refined MoCap data at a later stage.

INCLUDE projects

Under this umbrella the research projects at the BabyLab are covering a broad range of topics in intercultural, institutional and various lifeworld settings:

  • The SMILE project investigates the impact of lifeworld-conditions of low SES of Families who live under the socio-economical condition of Harz IV  in order to implement relational early family trainings;
  • The ChildLab Lushoto, Tanzania, investigates caretaker-infant dyads in a remote orphanage to establish a Relational Communication Therapy for the children living in and with the staff working in the orphanage;
  • The up-coming project in cooperation with Gandhigram Rural Institute - Deemed University, Dindigul, South India, will investigate and evaluate relational intervention didactics in the dyadic interplay in early childhood in care institutions

Taken all together these projects and future research in the BabyLab INCLUDE will help to initiate change in disturbed dyadic communications on different levels of human psychological growth in early infancy and to refine the concept of a Relational Communication Therapy.


The website of BabyLab INCLUDE Hannover is currently under construction. For further information please contact Dr. Bodo Frank bodo.frankifs.uni-hannover or Chantal Polzin chantal.polzinifs.uni-hannover.de