Sunway Baby Lab

Sunway Baby Lab



What do we do?

Welcome to the Sunway Baby Lab! We are passionate about understanding how babies grow, learn, and develop. Through our studies, we explore various aspects of child development, such as cognitive skills (e.g., speech and language development, face perception), emotions, and social interactions (e.g., imitation behaviours).

We are always inviting children from all ages (0 - 12 years old) to participate in our studies. Register your child now and join our journey to better knowledge! Our team will contact you if your baby is eligible for any of our studies.



You can register your baby’s details here

Or alternatively via phone and email:

Sunway Baby Lab  
Department of Psychology  
No. 5, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Sunway,  
47500 Selangor.

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Sunway Baby Lab
Instagram: @sunwaybabylab

Our Past Research

Check out our social media or reach out to us to find out more about our ongoing research!

Below are some of the studies we are currently running:

Face Perception Study
How do babies perceive faces that they are familiar and unfamiliar with? When do they become experts in recognising faces? Through a series of studies taking place at Lancaster University (United Kingdom) and Sunway University (Malaysia), we are hoping to answer questions like these. Dr. Diana Tham and Professor Gavin Bremner, Lancaster University (UK) and Dr. Woo Pei Jun, Sunway University (MY) conducted a cross-cultural comparison on face perception ability in infants living in a single-race country (e.g., the UK) and a multi-race country (e.g., Malaysia).

Emotional development
Infants as young as 3 months are able to recognise specific emotional expressions when the expression is displayed on the face, voice or body posture. To understand how these processes develop, we presented infants with a series of photographs, or audio playbacks of various emotions and record their brain responses and eye gaze. This is a joint research project between Sunway University, Prof. Ted Ruffman from University of Otago (New Zealand), Assoc Prof. Rozainee Khairudin (UKM), and Assoc Prof. Alex Schaefer from Monash University Malaysia.

Empathic development
Toddlers around 18 months olds may feel distressed themselves when observing another in distress. But when do infants develop this ability in recognising distress in another, and what are their responses to the distress? Here, we investigate these questions with behavioural observations (e.g. role plays), and physiological (brain responses, eye gaze, salivary cortisol, heart rate). This is a joint research project between Dr. Yong from Sunway University and Dr. Elena Geangu from Lancaster University (UK).

Imitation Behaviours
Even though young children may not be able to do complex tasks yet, they're surprisingly good at watching what others do and copying them. To understand how children imitate, we investigated whether children imitate normative or instrumental tools to complete specific tasks. This is a joint research project between Sunway University and Dr. Frankie Fong from Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology (Germany). This is one of the many studies that we conduct to understand children’s imitative behaviours.

Word Learning Study
Together with Professor Denis Burnham from MARCS Baby Lab at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, Dr. Woo Pei Jun from Sunway University studied how 17-month-old infants’ learn pairs of native (Malay Mandarin) and pairs non-native word-like sounds based on tonal (pitch) differences, or phone (consonant or vowel differences). This is one of the many series of studies that we conduct to understand how babies learn languages from their environment.

Infant Tone Perception (Language Study)
Babies may not be able to speak yet, but from the early months of life, infants are learning a lot about speech and language. Each language uses a unique set of speech sounds. Scientists now know that at birth, babies have the ability to distinguish all of these speech sounds, but that ability decreases rapidly if they don’t have regular exposure to those sounds. Dr. Woo Pei Jun, Dr. Karen Mattock and Elaine Yong investigated how infants come to recognise and distinguish between speech sounds in Mandarin, as well as how development may differ for babies growing up hearing more than one language. The focus of the research is on the perception of Mandarin speech sounds, especially tones. This study is a collaborative project between researchers from Sunway University (MY) and University of Western Sydney (Australia).

How do we study Children?

Behaviour Observation Studies: 
These studies are designed to be game-like with your child, for example in role-play. We observe how children respond or interact with the experimenter.

Behaviour observation

Habituation and Preferential Looking 
We use this method to test whether babies can tell the difference between two stimuli (either sounds or images). Babies are played a stimulus until they get bored and look away. If they show renewed interest when a second stimulus is played, this is perceived as they are able to tell the difference between the two.


Eye-tracking task;
A special screen and mini-camera tracks a baby's eye movement, telling us where your baby is looking at the screen. By analysing their eye movement, we can understand how they make sense of the world around them.


Electroencephalography EEG
EEG measures waves of electricity that the brain generates at all times. We have caps with built in sensors for measuring these waves. With this method, we can see what patterns of brain activity occur when a baby is learning about words, objects or actions.


Information for parents

What to Expect?
Our research assistants will contact you to screen your child’s eligibility for our studies. If your child is eligible, you will be invited to the lab and scheduled at a time that works best for you. Sessions are generally done on Mondays to Saturdays between 8:30am to 5:30pm. One study would last 20-30 minutes, but we would recommend you to allocate one hour for the session in order for us to explain the study to you and answer your questions before you sign a consent form as well as getting your child comfortable with us before beginning the session. Please refer to the image below for better understanding.

info parent

Eligibility: Who is eligible?
You and your baby are eligible if

  1. You are the parent or caregiver of a baby.
  2. The pregnancy, birth and baby’s development is normal.
  3. Your child is between 0 - 12 years old.

Risks: Are there any risks involved?
The risks in these studies are minimal. All studies went through a thorough procedure of ethical considerations and have received ethical approvals from the university ethics research committee.


All sessions will be recorded for the purpose of analysis by our research staff. All videos and personal data will be kept strictly confidential in our high security password-protected database. All results will be compiled and no individual results will be available.

To reimburse you for your time and effort, you will receive the following:

  1. A travel allowance on each visit.

  2. A small appreciation gift.

  3. A child degree on each visit

  • 1st visit: Bachelor’s degree

  • 2nd visit: Master’s degree

  • 3rd visit: PhD Degree

Our Team

Lab Director and Researcher


Dr. Woo Pei Jun
Dr. Woo Pei Jun is a Senior Lecturer at Sunway University, Department of Psychology. She had studied and worked in Malaysia and the United States. She obtained her Bachelors and Master degree in Psychology from Ohio State University and Boston University, USA. She completed her PhD in Psychology with University of Grenoble, Alps, in France. She has years of experience working with children and families in various organisations (South Bay Mental Health (USA), UMMC, Hospital Permai, Sunway Medical Centre) and in private practise in Malaysia. Currently she teaches the psychology undergraduate program at Sunway University and does research in the area of face recognition and language development. She is also the author of 4 books on mental health. She has two active boys who are always keen to help in any of the department studies!

Email address: @email



Dr. Frankie T. K. Fong

Dr. Frankie Fong is a Lecturer of Developmental Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia, and a Guest Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. He employs a behavioural-experimental and cross-cultural approach, and has established, conducted, and coordinated developmental psychology research with families across urban and Indigenous communities in Malaysia. Dr. Fong is interested in children’s social cognitive development, with a particular focus on children’s imitative behaviour and normative understanding across diverse social learning contexts and cultural landscapes. He is also interested in studying the effect of digital media on children’s social learning and children's development of religious beliefs and behaviours across cultures.

Email address: [email protected]

Research Assistant


Rachel Chin

Rachel is a first-class graduate from our very own BSc (Hons) Psychology programme at Sunway University and Lancaster University. She has years of experience in counselling and mental health advocacy. Currently, she is a research assistant for the Sunway Baby Lab and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. She is passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of others and is also a committed volunteer for an organisation to support people in emotional crisis.

Email address: [email protected] OR @email

Graduate Student


Jasmine Tang Yi Xin

Jasmine is a dedicated graduate student pursuing her PhD in Psychology at Sunway University. She is also a proud alumna of the BSc (Hons) Psychology program at our institution. Currently, she is collaborating with the University of Leeds, UK, and the Clinical Research Centre (CRC), Sibu Hospital to understand infant development. Jasmine is deeply immersed in studying the effects of early mother-infant interactions on the socio-emotional development of babies in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Sunway Baby Lab Location

Sunway Baby Lab is located on Level 3 (Human Developmental and Human Performance Lab) of the Sunway University New Building.  
The address and GPS coordinates are:  
Sunway University  
No. 5, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Selangor.  
GPS Coordinates: 3.0681° N, 101.6041° E 



Paid parking is available at the campus basement car park on a first-come-first-serve basis. We will reimburse your parking fee. 
Alternative parking spaces are available at Sunway Pyramid Entry C, Blue Zone. Enjoy a scenic 6-minute walk to Sunway campus via the Elevated Canopy Walk which is located near the main entrance of Sunway Lagoon or at BRT Monash Station, opposite Monash University Malaysia. It is a 5-minute walk via the elevated canopy walk from the station to the University. The latter option is baby-stroller friendly as there are no steps between the two stops. (Please see the map below for directions)

Thank you and see you at Sunway University!