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Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is research?
    Research is designed to benefit society by gaining new knowledge. We may learn something that will help other people in the world. We can also research questions that we don’t know the answers to yet.
  2. What will I be doing?
    When you come in to participate for one of our research studies, you may be asked to do different activities, like answering questions in a survey, playing a computer game, and laying down in a scanner so that we can take pictures of your brain.
  3. What information will you collect?
    We will collect your birth date, testing scores, along with your home address so that we can mail you money that you earn during your study sessions!
  4. Will anyone find out my information?
    Except people on our study, no one will have access to your information unless there is information that may harm you or someone else.
  5. What is an MRI Scan and is it safe?
    The MRI scanner is a safe and non-invasive way for researchers see brain activity! There are lots of studies that have been done using MRI scans, and they found that people do not experience really bad side effects from being inside one. However, let us know if you ever feel uncomfortable about going inside one, and we can help!
  6. What will I be doing in the MRI scanner?
    You will be laying down while playing games and watching movie clips.
  7. Why do I have to stay still in the scanner?
    Have you ever tried taking a picture of someone or something that was moving? Doesn’t the picture comes out all blurry? We want to avoid that and get nice, crisp pictures of your awesome brain. That is why it is very important to stay super still in an MRI scanner.(Good picture; no movement)(Bad picture; even small movement creates blurry pictures such as this.)
  8. Can I stop if I don't like it?
    Yes! If you are uncomfortable and would like to stop, please let us know.
  9. Are we compensated?
    Yes! Both you and your parent will receive a check at the end of the study. For some studies, you will also get extra cash from certain computer tasks, which you will be able to take home at the end of each study session. Also, you will receive points for doing well in tasks, and you can cash them in for prizes throughout the study!
  10. Does my mom/dad need to come in with me to the study?
    Yes, for safety reasons, your mom or your dad or a guardian will have to come in for each session and stay on campus. However, for the most part, they will be able to do their own work or have a relaxing time.
  11. How can I get involved?
    Contact Alexa at or 919-843-3753 to get involved! You can also click here for current studies that you can participate in 🙂

Here is a video we made in our lab to show you what an MRI scan is like!


Thank you to the wonderful kids, Adaora and Nolan, and the parents who helped make this happen!
And a special and BIG thank you to Deep Structure Productions! Check out their website at

Please click here for current studies that you can participate in!

Want to learn more about the brain? Check out these brainy crossword puzzles and coloring pages!