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Janet Frick

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Associate Professor
Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program


Research Interests

I study the development of visual attention in infants and young children. I am specifically interested in developmental changes in attention, the role of attentional processes in how infants learn about the world around them and how they interact with other people, and what individual differences in infant attention may tell us about social and cognitive development when the infant is older. In my lab, we study both behavioral (i.e., look duration and reaction time) and physiological (i.e., heart rate and respiration rate) measures of attention, using both global and microanalytic coding techniques.

My lab includes a stimulus presentation computer with a 31 inch monitor, 3 videocameras, a video-mixer for creating split-screen images, equipment for synchronizing each frame of videotape with a time code, two videotape coding computers, and a bioamplifier for measuring heart rate and respiration rate. Much of our work involves painstaking analysis of videotape records of testing sessions with babies previously recorded. You can learn more about research studies we are doing in our lab by clicking here to visit our lab web page

Visit this link to read about one of my lab's recent research studies that showed that the hormone cortisol may operate differently in infants and adults. The article, published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology, was recently covered on ScienceDaily and in the UGA Columns Online Newspaper

Selected Professional Activities

I am a member of the Editorial Board of Infancy, the leading infant development journal in my field. I am active in undergraduate advising and have a number of students who work in my lab. I received our department's undergraduate teaching award in 1997, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and was selected as a UGA Lilly Teaching Fellow in 1999-2000, and was selected as a Senior Teaching Fellow and elected to the UGA Teaching Academy in 2007. Finally, I am active in technology-related issues in the department.

Selected Publications

click here for recent publications on Google Scholar

Varga, K., Frick, J.E., Kapa, L.L., & Dengler, M.J. (2010). Developmental changes in inhibition of return from 3 to 6 months of age. Infant Behavior and Development.

Frick, J.E., Dengler, M., & Hammond, B.R. (2009). Effects of dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin on maturation of the human visual system. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, 20, 18-20.

Hammond, B. R., & Frick, J. E. (2007). Nutritional protection of the developing retina. The Hong Kong Practicioner, 29, 200-207.

Abelkop, B. S., & Frick, J. E. (2003). Cross-task stability in infant attention: New perspectives using the still-face procedure.Infancy, 4, 567-588.

Frick, J. E., & Adamson, L. B. (2003). One still-face, many visions.Infancy, 4, 499-501.

Adamson, L. B., & Frick, J. E. (2003). The still-face: A history of a shared experimental paradigm. Infancy, 4, 451-473.

Frick, J. E., & Richards, J. E. (2001). Individual differences in infants' recognition of briefly presented visual stimuli. Infancy, 2, 331-352.

Frick, J. E., Colombo, J., & Allen, J. R. (2000). Temporal sequence of global-local processing in 3-month-old infants. Infancy, 1, 375-386.

Frick, J. E., Colombo, J., & Saxon, T. F. (1999). Individual and developmental differences in disengagement of fixation in early infancy. Child Development, 70, 537-548.

Stoecker, J. J., Colombo, J., Frick, J. E., & Allen, J. R. (1998). Long- and short-looking infants' recognition of symmetrical and asymmetrical forms. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 71, 63-78.

Frick, J. E., & Colombo, J. (1996). Individual differences in infant visual attention: Recognition of degraded visual forms by four-month-olds. Child Development, 67, 188-204.

Former Advisees

Krisztina Varga, Ph.D. 2009, M.S. 2007, dissertation on development of attention and symbolic representation throughout infancy and toddlerhood

Melissa Bright, M.S. 2009, master's thesis on toddlers' attentional inhibition and understanding of scale models

Melissa Dengler, M.S. 2008, master's thesis on the development of contrast enhancement in human infants

Melissa M. Whitehead, M.S. 2005, master's thesis on attention regulation in 3-6 month old infants

Jill Sullivan, M.S. 2002, master's thesis on visual anticipations in 9-12 month old infants

Shayle Abelkop, M.S. 2000, master's thesis on infant visual attention in the still-face procedure (i.e., during social interaction)


I am also certified with the UGA Safe Space program.


Articles Featuring Janet Frick

Dr. Isha Metzger and Dr. Janet Frick recently presented to Cedar Shoals High School Peer Leadership students on the issues of trauma and human development. Together, they discussed the field of psychology, development, trauma, and the ways that early…

Graduate Students in My Lab

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