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Teen Neurofeedback Study

Teen Decision Study at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

Virginia Tech scientists are recruiting for a brain research study that shows teenagers, ages 12-16, the activity in their brains as they make decisions in an MRI scanner. This technique, called neurofeedback, will help us to learn more about how the brain works. The research will be conducted at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke, VA.

What do volunteers do?

Teenagers enrolled in the research study will visit the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion in Roanoke, VA. There are two parts to this study. The first part will involve the completion of questionnaires and assessments by both the teenager and their caregiver. The questionnaires and assessments take about an hour.

The second part will involve a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Teenagers will be asked to play computer games while inside the scanner across 5 separate sessions. These safe, non-invasive scanners use powerful magnets to detect blood oxygen levels – an indirect measure of neural activity that helps the researchers see which brain regions are engaged during decision-making tasks. The MRI sessions will last approximately 1-2 hours.

How much will I be paid for my time?

Participants will be compensated for their time at the rate of $25/hour, plus up to an additional $30 based on task performance. Participants will also be given a $50 completion bonus after completing all study procedures. Travel to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute will be compensated at $20/hour. Transportation, or transportation assistance, is also available if needed.

How will my brain be scanned?

The researchers will use a combination of a safe and non-invasive imaging technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at your brain. X-rays and CT scans are not used.

What is fMRI? 

MRI machines use powerful magnets to rotate protons in your body's water molecules, allowing scientists to visualize structures in your brain and measure blood flow. Volunteers lie inside the MRI while their brains are scanned. Read more about fMRI.

What is the study’s purpose?

Researchers at Virginia Tech want to understand the brain's role in how teenagers make decisions. Dr. Pearl Chiu and Dr. Brooks Casas received funding from the National Institutes of Health to conduct this research.

Interested in learning more? 

Please contact us with any questions you have and a research team member will follow-up with you.


Or you can call or email us if you have questions. Thank you.

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