Child playing with puzzle pieces
Developmental psychology

Studying children with the help of eye tracking

Gaze is one of the first abilities infants develop, providing researchers with insight into the development process long before speaking begins.

Why use eye tracking?

Eye tracking is a non-invasive technology that can extract data about an infant's gaze behavior accurately and rapidly without instructions. It provides developmental researchers with a means to enter the child's mind and determine when capabilities emerge and how they develop over time.

Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracker used to test a baby

What you can measure with eye tracking

Eye tracking solutions with a dedicated application, like our software
Tobii Pro Lab, can further process the data to draw valuable conclusions on a wide variety of developmental processes, including:

Baby in front of an eye tracker used for child development research

Visual perception

Discover how the brain’s ability to make sense of the world develops through infancy and childhood.

Child playing with toys

Motor development

Visually guided reaching behavior reveals the development of intentions, planning, and motivation to explore the world.

Child learning to read

Language acquisition

Investigate the gaze patterns of infants and children when exposed to different linguistic stimuli, including spoken words or visual scenes.

babies socially interacting together

Social cognition and interaction

Study the development of social skills by measuring infants’ attention to social stimuli and face processing.

Tobii Pro Spectrum

Oculomotor function development

Understand oculomotor development by measuring object-tracking ability, gaze stability, and saccadic reaction time.

Tobii - Karen Pierce autism hero image

Atypical development

Differences in attentional processes and eye gaze patterns during social interaction can indicate developmental challenges, such as autism spectrum disorder or ADHD.

Areas of research

There are many ways to leverage eye tracking data in developmental research.

  • Shows how a child assesses facial expressions

  • Reveals their ability to apply understanding and recall

  • Discovers relevant processes in the first stages of life

  • Anticipatory eye movements reveal knowledge about structural or perceptual completion

  • Pupil dilation measures a child's arousal and violation of expectations

  • Helps to understand oculomotor development, such as object-tracking ability

Research setups for infant and child studies

Tobii Pro Spectrum

Screen-based for the lab

For lab environments, our screen-based eye trackers,
Tobii Pro Spectrum and Tobii Pro Fusion, produce visual stimuli on a screen and work together with Tobii Pro Lab to deliver insights on study participant reactions.

Boy learning in a classroom with Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracking

Screen-based for the field

You can connect the plug-and-play Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracker to any screen at a school, hospital, or library to collect data in the field in a nonintrusive way. Works together with Tobii Pro Lab to deliver insights on behavior.

Baby looking at puppets using Spectrum

Standalone for the lab

With Tobii Pro Spectrum in standalone mode, data capture can take place while children observe or interact with people and physical objects. Works together with Tobii Pro Lab to deliver insights on behavior.

Tobii Pro Glasses 3

Wearable for the real world

Designed for on-the-go data capture, our Tobii Pro Glasses 3 wearable eye tracker (suitable for 5+ years) allows children to interact and move around freely, enabling you to design studies that closely reflect real-world scenarios — for the lab and the field.

Unraveling the wonders of developmental psychology



Child reading on a Tobii Pro Spectrum eye tracker

Scientific publications

Did you know that over 12,000 scientific
publications feature Tobii eye tracking technology?

Discover the latest trends in eye tracking for developmental
psychology research by exploring our scientific publication library.

Products used for developmental psychology research



Enabling success

Tobii offers tailored support to address research needs throughout your journey with Tobii’s eye tracking.

Person in front of the computer with academic icons visible

Tobii Funding support services

Tobii Funding support services help you improve your grant proposals for research that includes eye tracking in its methodology

Tobii Connect

Tobii Connect

Tobii Connect delivers product documentation, how-to guides, and answers to FAQs as well as access to software updates. Our customer care services help with any technical issues concerning Tobii products.

Tobii Academy

Tobii Academy

Tobii Academy our online learning platform, helping you ensure study success at every step of the way from study design to interpreting your eye tracking data.