Dr. Heidi Baumgartner is a Research Scholar at Stanford University, the co-director of the Stanford Big Team Science Lab, and the Executive Director of ManyBabies, an international collaborative network in developmental psychology research. Heidi completed a PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Davis, and spent three years as a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University. She is passionate about transparency and openness in big team science.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Executive Director, ManyBabies (2021 - Present)
  • Co-Director, Big Team Science Lab (2022 - Present)
  • Co-Organizer, Big Team Science Conference (2022 - Present)

Professional Education

  • PhD, University of California, Davis, Psychology (2014)
  • MA, University of California, Davis, Psychology (2010)
  • BA, Stanford University, Psychology (2005)

Research Interests

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood
  • Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Science Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

As the executive director of the ManyBabies global consortium (, I am interested in facilitating Big Team Science practices to address difficult outstanding theoretical and methodological questions about the nature of early development and how it is studied.

All Publications

  • How to build up big team science: a practical guide for large-scale collaborations. Royal Society open science Baumgartner, H. A., Alessandroni, N., Byers-Heinlein, K., Frank, M. C., Hamlin, J. K., Soderstrom, M., Voelkel, J. G., Willer, R., Yuen, F., Coles, N. A. 2023; 10 (6): 230235


    The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of big team science (BTS), endeavours where a comparatively large number of researchers pool their intellectual and/or material resources in pursuit of a common goal. Despite this burgeoning interest, there exists little guidance on how to create, manage and participate in these collaborations. In this paper, we integrate insights from a multi-disciplinary set of BTS initiatives to provide a how-to guide for BTS. We first discuss initial considerations for launching a BTS project, such as building the team, identifying leadership, governance, tools and open science approaches. We then turn to issues related to running and completing a BTS project, such as study design, ethical approvals and issues related to data collection, management and analysis. Finally, we address topics that present special challenges for BTS, including authorship decisions, collaborative writing and team decision-making.

    View details for DOI 10.1098/rsos.230235

    View details for PubMedID 37293356

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10245199

  • 'Big team' science challenges us to reconsider authorship. Nature human behaviour Coles, N. A., DeBruine, L. M., Azevedo, F., Baumgartner, H. A., Frank, M. C. 2023

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41562-023-01572-2

    View details for PubMedID 36928785

    View details for PubMedCentralID 4792175

  • A unified approach to demographic data collection for research with young children across diverse cultures. Developmental psychology Singh, L., Barokova, M. D., Baumgartner, H. A., Lopera-Perez, D. C., Omane, P. O., Sheskin, M., Yuen, F. L., Wu, Y., Alcock, K. J., Altmann, E. C., Bazhydai, M., Carstensen, A., Chan, K. C., Chuan-Peng, H., Dal Ben, R., Franchin, L., Kosie, J. E., Lew-Williams, C., Okocha, A., Reinelt, T., Schuwerk, T., Soderstrom, M., Tsui, A. S., Frank, M. C. 2023


    Culture is a key determinant of children's development both in its own right and as a measure of generalizability of developmental phenomena. Studying the role of culture in development requires information about participants' demographic backgrounds. However, both reporting and treatment of demographic data are limited and inconsistent in child development research. A barrier to reporting demographic data in a consistent fashion is that no standardized tool currently exists to collect these data. Variation in cultural expectations, family structures, and life circumstances across communities make the creation of a unifying instrument challenging. Here, we present a framework to standardize demographic reporting for early child development (birth to 3 years of age), focusing on six core sociodemographic construct categories: biological information, gestational status, health status, community of descent, caregiving environment, and socioeconomic status. For each category, we discuss potential constructs and measurement items and provide guidance for their use and adaptation to diverse contexts. These items are stored in an open repository of context-adapted questionnaires that provide a consistent approach to obtaining and reporting demographic information so that these data can be archived and shared in a more standardized format. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/dev0001623

    View details for PubMedID 37843515

  • ManyBabies 5: A large-scale investigation of the proposed shift from familiarity preference to novelty preference in infant looking time Kosie, J. E., Zettersten, M., Abu-Zhaya, R., Amso, D., Babineau, M., Baumgartner, H. A., et al PsyArXiv. 2023
  • ManyBabies3:A multi-lab study of infant algebraic rule learning Visser, I., Geambasu, A., Baumgartner, H. A., et al PsyArXiv. 2022
  • The origins of cortical multisensory dynamics: Evidence from human infants DEVELOPMENTAL COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE Werchan, D. M., Baumgartner, H. A., Lewkowicz, D. J., Amso, D. 2018; 34: 75-81


    Classic views of multisensory processing suggest that cortical sensory regions are specialized. More recent views argue that cortical sensory regions are inherently multisensory. To date, there are no published neuroimaging data that directly test these claims in infancy. Here we used fNIRS to show that temporal and occipital cortex are functionally coupled in 3.5-5-month-old infants (Nā€‰=ā€‰65), and that the extent of this coupling during a synchronous, but not an asynchronous, audiovisual event predicted whether occipital cortex would subsequently respond to sound-only information. These data suggest that multisensory experience may shape cortical dynamics to adapt to the ubiquity of synchronous multisensory information in the environment, and invoke the possibility that adaptation to the environment can also reflect broadening of the computational range of sensory systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.07.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000451083300009

    View details for PubMedID 30099263

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6629259

  • An Eye Tracking Investigation of Color-Location Binding in Infants' Visual Short-Term Memory INFANCY Oakes, L. M., Baumgartner, H. A., Kanjlia, S., Luck, S. J. 2017; 22 (5): 584-607


    Two experiments examined 8- and 10-month-old infants' (N = 71) binding of object identity (color) and location information in visual short-term memory (VSTM) using a one-shot change detection task. Building on previous work using the simultaneous streams change detection task, we confirmed that 8- and 10-month-old infants are sensitive to changes in binding between identity and location in VSTM. Further, we demonstrated that infants recognize specifically what changed in these events. Thus, infants' VSTM for binding is robust and can be observed in different procedures and with different stimuli.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/infa.12184

    View details for Web of Science ID 000407506700001

    View details for PubMedID 28966559

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5619658

  • Investigating the Relation Between Infants' Manual Activity With Objects and Their Perception of Dynamic Events INFANCY Baumgartner, H. A., Oakes, L. M. 2013; 18 (6): 983-1006

    View details for DOI 10.1111/infa.12009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325269700005

  • Developmental changes in visual short-term memory in infancy: evidence from eye-tracking FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY Oakes, L. M., Baumgartner, H. A., Barrett, F. S., Messenger, I. M., Luck, S. J. 2013; 4: 697


    We assessed visual short-term memory (VSTM) for color in 6- and 8-month-old infants (n = 76) using a one-shot change detection task. In this task, a sample array of two colored squares was visible for 517 ms, followed by a 317-ms retention period and then a 3000-ms test array consisting of one unchanged item and one item in a new color. We tracked gaze at 60 Hz while infants looked at the changed and unchanged items during test. When the two sample items were different colors (Experiment 1), 8-month-old infants exhibited a preference for the changed item, indicating memory for the colors, but 6-month-olds exhibited no evidence of memory. When the two sample items were the same color and did not need to be encoded as separate objects (Experiment 2), 6-month-old infants demonstrated memory. These results show that infants can encode information in VSTM in a single, brief exposure that simulates the timing of a single fixation period in natural scene viewing, and they reveal rapid developmental changes between 6 and 8 months in the ability to store individuated items in VSTM.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00697

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331236300001

    View details for PubMedID 24106485

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3788337

  • Using infrared eye-tracking to explore ordinal numerical processing in toddlers with Fragile X Syndrome JOURNAL OF NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS Owen, E. R., Baumgartner, H. A., Rivera, S. M. 2013; 5: 1


    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and non-idiopathic autism. Individuals with FXS present with a behavioral phenotype of specific and selective deficits in an array of cognitive skills. Disruption of number processing and arithmetic abilities in higher-functioning adults and female adolescents with FXS has been well established. Still, both numerical skills and developmentally antecedent cognitive processes have just begun to be investigated in toddlers with FXS. The goal of the current study was to assess how very young children with FXS respond to ordinal relationships among numerical magnitudes.Infrared eye-tracking was used to explore infants' novelty recognition during passive viewing of ordinal numerical sequences; t-tests were used to analyze group differences in looking time.Ordinal recognition of numerical magnitudes is significantly impaired in young toddlers with FXS.This study is the first to experimentally evaluate early number sense and ordinal recognition in toddlers with FXS, and our findings reveal that ordinal recognition of numerical magnitudes is significantly impaired in young toddlers with FXS, suggesting that later arithmetic impairments associated with FXS may have their origins in a developmental impairment of this more basic aspect of numerical cognition.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1866-1955-5-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316748000001

    View details for PubMedID 23402354

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3610201

  • Manual object exploration and learning about object features in human infants Oakes, L. M., Baumgartner, H. A., IEEE IEEE. 2012
  • The Feasibility of Detecting Neuropsychologic and Neuroanatomic Effects of Type 1 Diabetes in Young Children DIABETES CARE Aye, T., Reiss, A. L., Kesler, S., Hoang, S., Drobny, J., Park, Y., Schleifer, K., Baumgartner, H., Wilson, D. M., Buckingham, B. A. 2011; 34 (7): 1458-1462


    To determine if frequent exposures to hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia during early childhood lead to neurocognitive deficits and changes in brain anatomy.In this feasibility, cross-sectional study, young children, aged 3 to 10 years, with type 1 diabetes and age- and sex-matched healthy control (HC) subjects completed neuropsychologic (NP) testing and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain.NP testing and MRI scanning was successfully completed in 98% of the type 1 diabetic and 93% of the HC children. A significant negative relationship between HbA1c and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) verbal comprehension was observed. WISC index scores were significantly reduced in type 1 diabetic subjects who had experienced seizures. White matter volume did not show the expected increase with age in children with type 1 diabetes compared with HC children (diagnosis by age interaction, P=0.005). A similar trend was detected for hippocampal volume. Children with type 1 diabetes who had experienced seizures showed significantly reduced gray matter and white matter volumes relative to children with type 1 diabetes who had not experienced seizures.It is feasible to perform MRI and NP testing in young children with type 1 diabetes. Further, early signs of neuroanatomic variation may be present in this population. Larger cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of neurocognitive function and neuroanatomy are needed to define the effect of type 1 diabetes on the developing brain.

    View details for DOI 10.2337/dc10-2164

    View details for PubMedID 21562318

  • Infants' Developing Sensitivity to Object Function: Attention to Features and Feature Correlations JOURNAL OF COGNITION AND DEVELOPMENT Baumgartner, H. A., Oakes, L. M. 2011; 12 (3): 275-298
  • Longitudinal Brain Volume Changes in Preterm and Term Control Subjects During Late Childhood and Adolescence PEDIATRICS Ment, L. R., Kesler, S., Vohr, B., Katz, K. H., Baumgartner, H., Schneider, K. C., Delancy, S., Silbereis, J., Duncan, C. C., Constable, R. T., Makuch, R. W., Reiss, A. L. 2009; 123 (2): 503-511


    Although preterm very low birth weight infants have a high prevalence of neuroanatomical abnormalities when evaluated at term-equivalent age, patterns of brain growth in prematurely born infants during school age and adolescence remain largely unknown. Our goal was to test the hypothesis that preterm birth results in long-term dynamic changes in the developing brain.We performed serial volumetric MRI studies at ages 8 and 12 years in 55 preterm infants born weighing 600 to 1250 g and 20 term control children who participated in the follow-up component of a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled intraventricular hemorrhage prevention study.Total brain volumes increased 2% to 3% between the ages of 8 and 12 years for both preterm and term children. These changes involved reductions in cerebral gray matter while white matter increased. Between 8 and 12 years of age, preterm subjects experienced a 2% decrease in left cerebral gray matter compared with a 10% reduction in left cerebral gray for term controls. For right cerebral gray matter, preterm children experienced a 3% decrease in volume between years 8 and 12, compared with 9% for term controls (group-by-time). In contrast, preterm subjects had a 10% increase in cerebral white matter volumes bilaterally between ages 8 and 12 years, compared with >26% increases for both hemispheres for term controls. Significant differences in regional volume changes between study groups were found in bilateral temporal gray and in parietal white matter.Preterm birth continues to perturb the trajectory of cerebral development during late childhood and early adolescence with preterm children, showing both lower gray matter reduction and less white matter gain over time compared with term control subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2008-0025

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262678700012

    View details for PubMedID 19171615

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2679898

  • Children's developing ability to interpret adjective-noun combinations 30th Annual Boston-University Conference on Language Development Thorpe, K., Baumgartner, H., Fernald, A. CASCADILLA PRESS. 2006: 631ā€“642