Become a Research Participant

Show All Studies



Project Title:
Diamond Brain Imaging Study
Principal Investigator:
Mary Phillips, M.D.
For Information Contact:

TEXT: DIAMOND to 412-999-2758; EMAIL: fmristudies@upmc.edu; CALL: 412-383-3109; WEBPAGE: www.diamond.pitt.edu

What We Are Studying:
Using fMRI scan techniques, this study is focusing on differences in emotion and brain functioning in those experiencing severe distress compared to those who are not. No treatment is provided.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Young Adults age 18-25 currently experiencing distress severe enough that they have sought treatment. They do not have to meet any disorder but they also are eligible if they do. Matched young adults who have never experienced distress or any psychiatric disorders.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Those on psychotropic medications for more than a couple weeks (or controls - ever); Those with current alcohol or substance abuse; Those with a history of severe concussion, neurological disorder, metal in the body, having claustrophobia, or currently pregnant.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a full clinical evaluation to determine eligibility and then complete self-report questionnaires on the screen day. Following that they will have an fMRI scan where they will complete tasks in the scanner and complete a brief clinical assessment & self-report forms. There is also a blood draw, if the participant agrees. For the distressed group, there are 2 follow-up clinical appointments at 6- and 12- months.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation for participation is as follows: $25 – screen visit; $75 – scan visit with potential to ‘win’ $6 more in the tasks/games in the scanner; $20 – blood draw; and $30 - follow-up visits.


Project Title:
Neural and Social Processes of Positive Affect in Children at Risk for Depression
Principal Investigator:
Judith Morgan, PhD
For Information Contact:

Catherine Venable; pittcarelab@gmail.com; (412) 624-7991

What We Are Studying:
Reward-related processing in young children at familial risk for depression.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Biological mothers with or without a history of depression and their 6 to 8 year old emotionally healthy children.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Mothers with a history of Bipolar Disorder or Psychosis. Children with psychiatric illnesses or developmental delays.
What Participation Involves:
Visit 1: 3 hour laboratory visit (includes clinical interviews, questionnaires, and child behavioral tasks). Visit 2: 90 minute laboratory visit (includes an fMRI scan for the child).
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact Catherine Venable for more details.


Project Title:
A New Statistical Paradigm for Measuring Psychopathology Dimensions in Youth (YCAT Study)
Principal Investigator:
David Brent, MD
For Information Contact:

Brandie George-Milford (Telephone: 412-246-5629 or 412-586-9405; Email: ycat@upmc.edu)

What We Are Studying:
The purpose of the study is to learn more about the assessment of mood and behavior problems in children.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Boys and girls 7-17 years old that are in treatment for mood or behavioral problem and their legal guardians/parents.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Youth with a diagnosis of psychosis or autism are not eligible.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves one visit, lasting approximately 2 hours, for a youth-parent pair. The visit includes taking the YCAT survey on an iPad and answering between 150-200 questions about health, mood, and behaviors.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Yes, compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.


Project Title:
Negative Thinking Study
Principal Investigator:
Greg Siegle, PhD
For Information Contact:

Marlee Pyzewski (Email: pyzewskiml@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-864-3515) OR Jahala Orsini (Email: orsinijm2@upmc.edu; Telephone: (412) 864-3564)

What We Are Studying:
This study examines a new, experimental computer-based intervention designed to reduce negative thinking by improving attentional focus through sensory distraction. This study also examines brain and physiological functions in individual with repetitive negative thoughts.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Fluent English speaking adults ages 18-65 who are currently experiencing repetitive negative thoughts.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with a history of severe head trauma, chronic pain, or a heart condition; psychotic disorder or psychosis; current use of antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, stimulants, anti-Parkinsonians; current alcohol or substance dependence.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be asked to complete a series of six visits at a UPMC facility in Oakland. The first visit will consist of interviews to assess one’s well-being and mental health history. The second visit will include a 90 minute fMRI while we collect physiological data, such as pupil dilation, breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and more while you complete computer-based tasks. On the third, fourth, and fifth visits we will be doing brain training exercises in which participants must attend to an annoying sensation on the forearm. The sixth visit will consist of a 90 minute fMRI which includes recording physiological data and completion of computer-based tasks.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants can receive up to $200 for full completion.


Project Title:
Developmental Changes in Striatal Neurophysiology through Adolescence - Adults
Principal Investigator:
Beatriz Luna, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Jessica Graves (Email: gravesjl@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-383-8176)

What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this research study is to help researchers learn more about how teenagers’ brains change as they get older and become adults. As part of the study, researchers will want to learn about how one’s memory and ability to plan and control one’s actions changes with age. To do that, they will look at these skills in children, adolescents, and adults using computer-based tasks. They will look at how the brain works during these tasks using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). fMRI is a type of brain scan that takes pictures of your brain while you are thinking and looking at different things. The pictures show the parts of the brain that are active while you perform different tasks. While the fMRI takes pictures of your brain activity, the PET takes pictures that measure neurotransmitters in your brain. PET works by illuminating a “radiotracer” chemical that will be injected in you at the time of your visit.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Healthy men and women between 18-30 years old
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Adults with history of meningitis, encephalitis, epilepsy, diabetes, head injury with loss of consciousness longer than 5 minutes, eye movement abnormalities (e.g., strabismus, amblyopia), cardiac pacemaker, aneurysm clip, cochlear implants, pregnancy, IUD, shrapnel, history of metal fragments in eyes, neurostimulators, non-removable jewelry, braces or orthodontic devices, body tattoos above the shoulder, weight in excess of 250 lbs., or claustrophobia. Individuals with any of the following conditions are also not eligible: a) a diagnosed learning disability; b) a diagnosed psychiatric disorder; c) a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, or d) a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
What Participation Involves:
This study is done in one 2-hour session and one 6-hour session, consisting of two PET/MRI scan sessions at 2-hours each. Lunch can be provided. On the first day, a behavioral session, which involves computer games and questionnaires, is completed at the Loeffler Building in Oakland. The second visit, done on a separate day, is one 6-hour session, consisting of two PET/MRI scan sessions at 2-hours each. Lunch can be provided.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants may be compensated up to $850.00 for completing all study procedures. Parking provided.


Project Title:
Puberty, Emotions, and the Brain
Principal Investigator:
Cecile Ladouceur, PhD
For Information Contact:

Alysse Berry, berrya2@upmc.edu (412) 383-8134; Salena Binnig, binnigs@upmc.edu (412) 383-8134; Study email: pebs@pitt.edu

What We Are Studying:
We are studying the effects of puberty on adolescent brain development and vulnerability to affective disorders.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Females ages 10-12 years old and males ages 11-13 years old.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Children with metal in their bodies (e.g. plates, braces); children with diagnosed mental health disorders; children with left-handedness; and pregnant females.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves visiting our lab with a parent and completing computer games while we take pictures of your brain. Mental and physical assessments will also be completed.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.


Project Title:
Emotion & Physiology Assessment Study (EPAS)
Principal Investigator:
Greg Siegle, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Sarah Caligiuri, LPC, Research Principal (Telephone: 412-864-3514; Email: EmotionBrainStudy@upmc.edu), Oxford Building, Suite 420B, 3501 Forbes Avenue

What We Are Studying:
We are doing this to examine brain and physiological reactions to emotional information. We are particularly interested in how the brain regulates reactions to stimuli that are usually considered emotional, such as pictures, words, sounds, and stories.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Native English speaking adults 18-58 years old who are able to undergo fMRI scanning and are currently depressed, or anxious, but preferably meeting criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
People with history of severe head trauma, stroke, seizures, vision or hearing problems, contraindications for fMRI, current or historical bipolar I, psychotic disorders, or current substance dependence.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be asked to complete a series of four visits at UPMC facilities in Oakland including the MRI Research Center in Presbyterian Hospital. On the first two days, we will do interviews to assess one’s well-being and mental health history, and ask participants to complete some forms. These visits will last approximately 3 hours each. On the third visit participants will complete some tasks at a computer while we record their eye position, pupil dilation, breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and more. This visit lasts approximately 3-4 hours. Finally, on the fourth visit, which is 3.5 hours long, participants do a one-and-a-half-hour fMRI and complete some forms.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Up to $350 for full participation. Compensated up to $60 for each interview visit (or $20/hour up to 3 hours for screen outs. The lab and scan visits pay $100 each and there are opportunities for on time and task bonuses.


Project Title:
Ways for Adolescents to Validate Emotions (WAVE): A Therapy Research Study
Principal Investigator:
Tina Goldstein, PhD
For Information Contact:
Megan Krantz, wavestudy@upmc.edu, 412-864-3321

What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of two types of talk therapy (Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) versus Standard of Care (SOC) Psychotherapy) in addition to usual clinical care among adolescents and young adults with Bipolar Disorder.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents with bipolar disorder ages 12-18 and their parents/legal guardians may be eligible to participate.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or mental retardation are not eligible to participate in this study.
What Participation Involves:
Participating families will be assigned randomly (by chance) to receive either DBT or SOC psychotherapy at the CABS clinic. Adolescents and their family members must be willing to participate regularly in therapy sessions for one year at the CABS outpatient clinic at Bellefield Towers in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. All adolescent participants will be followed by a CABS physician who administers and monitors the adolescent’s medications. Adolescents and their parents will also take part in regular research interviews (every three months during the first year and every 6 months during the second year) and fill out questionnaires about their symptoms and functioning.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.


Project Title:
Elucidating the Neural Circuitry of OCD to Improve Real-Life Experiences (ENCORE)
Principal Investigator:
Mary Phillips, M.D.
For Information Contact:

Simona Graur; graurs@upmc.edu; (412) 256-8693

What We Are Studying:
Characterizing abnormalities in the OCD neural network
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Persons between the ages of 18 and 35 that have symptoms of OCD (OCD group). Persons between the ages of 18 and 35 that have no history of psychiatric disorders (Control Group).
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Participants are not eligible if they are not between 18-35 years old, have a systemic medical disease, have a history in the last 3 months of illicit substance abuse/dependence, are left/mixed handed, pregnant, prone to panicking in enclosed spaces, have metallic objects in their bodies, have psychotic symptoms, have history of head injury, currently suicidal, or have a personal/family history of any of the following: neurodevelopmental disorder, schizophrenia and/or schizoaffective disorder, primary psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, present PTSD, present depressive episode. In addition, OCD participants must not have taken in excess of one selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressant medication or clomipramine within the previous 3 months.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a lifetime psychiatric evaluation and complete various tasks while having an fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. The fMRI and other tasks are non-invasive procedures.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
$25 for psychiatric evaluation and $80 for the fMRI portion.


Project Title:
Neural Dimensions of Attention Bias Modification for Transdiagnostic Anxiety
Principal Investigator:
Rebecca Price, PhD
For Information Contact:

Logan Cummings, cummingslr3@upmc.edu, 412-624-5541

What We Are Studying:
This study examines a new computer-based intervention designed to reduce anxiety. The study also examines how the brain functions in anxious individuals.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals age 18-55 with clinically significant anxiety.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals currently taking antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications.
What Participation Involves:
Over a 1-month period, participants will complete a clinical interview, questionnaires, an fMRI brain scan, and repeated practice on a computer-based task.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation of up to $270 is provided upon completion of study.


Project Title:
Developmental Changes in Striatal Neurophysiology through Adolescence - Children
Principal Investigator:
Beatriz Luna, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Jessica Graves (Email: gravesjl@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-383-8176)

What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this research study is to help researchers learn more about how teenagers’ brains change as they get older and become adults. As part of the study, researchers will want to learn about how one’s memory and ability to plan and control one’s actions changes with age. To do that, they will look at these skills in children, adolescents, and adults using computer-based tasks. They will look at how the brain works during these tasks using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI is a type of brain scan that takes pictures of your child’s brain while s/he is thinking and looking at different things. The pictures show the parts of the brain that are active while s/he performs different tasks. Researchers will also make a special MRI picture called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTI will tell them about the connections between different parts of your child’s brain.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Boys and girls between the ages of 12-17 years old
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Children and adolescents with history of meningitis, encephalitis, epilepsy, diabetes, head injury with loss of consciousness longer than 5 minutes, eye movement abnormalities (e.g., strabismus, amblyopia), cardiac pacemaker, aneurysm clip, cochlear implants, pregnancy, IUD, shrapnel, history of metal fragments in eyes, neurostimulators, non-removable jewelry, braces or orthodontic devices, body tattoos above the shoulder, weight in excess of 250 lbs., or claustrophobia. Individuals that have the following are also not eligible to participate: a) a diagnosed learning disability; b) a diagnosed psychiatric disorder; c) a parent or sibling who has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, or; d) a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
What Participation Involves:
This study is done in two 3-hour sessions. On the first day, you and your child will come to the Loeffler Building in Oakland and take part in a behavioral session. Your child will be asked to play computer games, answer some questions and to fill out some forms, either on the computer or on paper. The second visit, done on a separate day, will be an MRI scan. Participants spend about 2 hours in a Magnetic Resonance Scanner looking at videos and playing games while we take pictures of your child’s brain.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants may be compensated up to $225.00 for completing all study procedures. Parking provided.


Project Title:
Youth Emotion and Brain Study
Principal Investigator:
Lauren Bylsma, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:
Amanda Adams (Email: yebs@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-383-8030)

What We Are Studying:
We are interested in studying brain-behavior relationships in youth and how characteristics of children and parents can affect the likelihood of children later developing emotional difficulties.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Parents with a history of depression OR no history of mental health problems, along with their healthy 9-13 year old children.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Youth or parents with a history of mania or psychotic disorder, youth with a neurological or developmental disorder, and youth taking certain psychiatric medicines.
What Participation Involves:
Clinical interview with parent and child, self-report questionnaires, completing computer tasks while we measure brain activity with an EEG, and answering questions on a smart phone for a week (smart phone provided by study).
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Please contact the study coordinator for more details.


Project Title:
MS Heart Study
Principal Investigator:
Rebecca Thurston, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Shannon Nichter: 412-624-2016 OR Dana Schreiber: 412-648-7096; Email: msheartstudy@gmail.com

What We Are Studying:
The study is designed to better understand the development of cardiovascular risk in midlife women.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Healthy volunteers, women, non-smoking, no known cardiovascular disease, not taking hormones, cardiac medications, insulin or antidepressants. No history of hysterectomy or removal of ovaries. Women with no hot flashes or daily hot flashes may be eligible.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Men, women under age 40 or over age 60, currently smoking or using tobacco products, women who had had a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy, or are currently pregnant. Women using taking hormones, antidepressants or undergoing chemotherapy currently or in the last three months. Women undergoing treatment for cardiovascular disease, using insulin for the treatment of diabetes, or with a history of stroke.
What Participation Involves:
Participation includes wearing monitors that measure heart rate, hot flashes, and sleep as you go about your daily activities. Study procedures also include ultrasound images of your blood vessels and one fasting blood draw.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants are eligible to receive $150 compensation. Study also provides compensation for bus fares and parking fees for lab visits.


Project Title:
ASSET Study (Adolescents’ Social Stresses, Emotions, and Thoughts)
Principal Investigator:
Leslie Horton, PhD
For Information Contact:

Makiah Nuutinen (412-864-2772, assetstudy@upmc.edu, http://www.assetpitt.com), or text the word “teenager” to (412)-999-2748

What We Are Studying:
We are studying the social stresses, emotions, and thoughts of teens, both those with and without a parent with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Teenagers age 14-19 and their parent; Parent has a schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder diagnosis OR no family history of mental illness.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Teenagers with history of head trauma including loss of consciousness; Teenagers who themselves have a current diagnosis of schizophrenia / psychotic disorder; Teenagers unwilling to abstain from nicotine and caffeine on the day of testing.
What Participation Involves:
We will examine social stresses, emotions, and thoughts 4 times over 1 year. Activities will include interviews, computer tasks, those in the laboratory (for example, looking at heart rate responses to stressful tasks), and in daily life (loaning participants a cell phone with an application that randomly beeps and asks questions about current experiences).
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Parent participants will be compensated $50 (First study visit). Teenagers will also be compensated up to $250 throughout full year of participation. Please contact study coordinator for additional details.


Project Title:
Cortical Cells, Circuits, Connectivity and Cognition in Psychosis
Principal Investigator:
Beatriz Luna, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Kevin Eklund, RN, BSN; eklundkd@upmc.edu; (412) 586-9009 for the first-episode psychosis studies or Alicia Thomas, MS; thomasaa@upmc.edu; (412) 586-9096 for healthy control studies.

What We Are Studying:
We are trying to learn about the causes of psychotic symptoms and are addressing this problem in a number of ways using recently developed methods of studying the structure and functioning of the brain and thinking processes that we believe may be involved. The purpose of this study is to better understand which aspects of brain functioning are affected in psychotic illnesses and whether this changes over time.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Males and Females, Ages 14-35: (1) first-episode of psychosis with little/no previous treatment, and (2) healthy controls with no history of a psychiatric disorder.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Those with certain medical/neurological conditions, mental retardation, pregnant women, substance dependence in the previous six months or abuse (except for alcohol and cannabis) in the previous month are not eligible to participate. Further, healthy controls who have a history of antipsychotic treatment or a first-degree family history of psychosis are not eligible.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be asked to complete clinical and diagnostic interviews, urine drug screen, neuropsychological assessments, and imaging and electroencephalography (EEG) studies. Diagnosis will be re-assessed at 6 months for individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants may receive up to $225 at baseline and $75 at the 6-month follow-up.


Project Title:
Emotion Regulation in Depression
Principal Investigator:
Jay Fournier, PhD
For Information Contact:

Logan Cummings, cummingslr3@upmc.edu, 412-624-5541, or by texting FMINDS to 412-999-2758

What We Are Studying:
We will be using functional magnetic resonance imaging (or fMRI) to take pictures of your brain while you view different types of pictures, words, or sentences on a computer screen. We will compare fMRI scans from people with depression to those scans from people with no disorders. This will help to improve our understanding of the way the brain works in people who have depression.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individual that are: 1) Aged 18-40; 2) Currently depressed OR who have no history of psychiatric disorders and 3) Must be right handed.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
1) Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or an active alcohol or substance use disorder; 2) Individuals currently receiving psychiatric medication or psychotherapy and 3) Individuals with a history of head trauma.
What Participation Involves:
There are two visits involved in this study. The first will involve interviews and questionnaires. During the second visit, participants will undergo an fMRI scan and complete additional questionnaires.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will be compensated up to $110 for completing both visits ($25 for the first visit, $85 for the second visit). The study will provide vouchers for bus fare or parking passes at study approved lots.


Project Title:
Childhood Experiences and the Brain
Principal Investigator:
Layla Banihashemi, M.S., Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Christine Peng: bbstress@pitt.edu, 412-383-2155

What We Are Studying:
We are conducting a research study to examine how difficult childhood experiences alter brain circuits that control stress responses and how these changes may influence stress reactivity and mental health in adulthood.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Men and women between 21 & 35 years old, with a range of childhood and mental health experiences.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with metal in the body, including significant dental work.
What Participation Involves:
This research study consists of two visits totaling approximately 4-6 hours. During Visit 1, participants will complete paper and online questionnaires, followed by an in-person interview. If eligible to continue, a second visit will be scheduled. During Visit 2, participants will undergo an MRI scan and be asked to remain still and perform a computerized task. While participants complete the tasks in the scanner, physiological measures including heart rate and blood pressure will be recorded.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
For completing the questionnaires and interview, participants will be compensated between $15 and $25. All compensation for Visit 1 procedures will be received after completion of the in-person interview, if applicable. For Visit 2, participants will earn $75 for completing the MRI scan. Thus, final compensation may be $90 or $100.


Project Title:
Improving Access to Care via mHealth Technology
Principal Investigator:
Oliver Lindhiem, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Charles Bennett (Email: bennettcb@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-246-5901)

What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to test a smartphone app that is designed to help parents and children manage mild to moderate behavior problems.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Parents and children (ages 8-12) with mild to moderate behavior problems and access to a computer with internet connection.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Families with: a) Children 7 years or younger; b) Children 13 years or younger; c) No access to internet; d) Serious psychopathology requiring alternative treatment or families receiving parallel services.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: a group that begins using the app immediately after the initial assessment or a wait list group that will wait for 4 months before beginning to use the app. Each group will be asked to complete a series of assessments online. All but one assessment will be completed online. Participants will also be asked to travel to the office to learn how to use the app. Participation will last up to 7 months for the treatment group and 11 months for the wait-list control group. Participants will be asked to complete a set of assessments right before they begin using the app, and then again 4 months later and at 7 months later.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will be compensated up to $150 ($75 for parent and $75 for child) if they are assigned to the group that immediately receives the app. Participants will be compensated up to $200 ($100 for parent and $100 for child) if they are assigned to the wait-list group.


Project Title:
Psychobiology of Suicidal Behavior in Borderline Personality Disorder
Principal Investigator:
Paul H. Soloff, MD
For Information Contact:

Mary Jones; jonesm@upmc.edu; (412) 246-5367

What We Are Studying:
Participants are interviewed about their moods, behaviors, and personality traits related to borderline personality disorder.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals ages 18-45, who have experienced symptoms of borderline personality disorder, such as: troubled personal relationships, chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom, difficulty controlling anger or frustration, mood swings, self-destructive or impulsive behaviors, or history of self-inflicted pain or injury.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with current or lifetime DSM-IV defined psychotic disorder (such as, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder), Bipolar disorder, and IQ < 70. The following are exclusions for the fMRI portion of the study only: 1) ferro-magnetic implants such as cardiac pacers, cochlear implants, aneurysm clips, history of metal in eyes or other ferromagnetic body artifacts; 2) inability to fit in the scanner; 3) claustrophobia or inability to tolerate brief confinement in the scanner; 4) pregnancy.
What Participation Involves:
After completion of a telephone screen to determine eligibility, subjects complete a series of diagnostic screening interviews. Upon completion of these, if they make it into the study, they are scheduled for a baseline assessment, and if they wish to participate, an optional fMRI scan.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Subjects are compensated $25 for each of the three diagnostic interviews, and $50 for the baseline interview. They are also compensated $50 for the one hour fMRI scan (for a potential total of $175).


Project Title:
Decision Processes of Late-Life Suicide
Principal Investigator:
Katalin Szanto, M.D.
For Information Contact:
Laura Kenneally (kenneallylb@upmc.edu; Telephone: (412) 802-8463)

What We Are Studying:
We are interested in understanding why some middle-aged and older adults become depressed, contemplate suicide and/or try to end their lives.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Participants may be eligible if they are between the ages of 50 and 85 and are either currently depressed OR if they have no psychiatric history.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Participants are not eligible if they have any history of neurological disorder, dementia, bipolar disorder, or psychotic disorder, if they have had any ECT treatment within the last 6 months, or if they have any history of stroke.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will complete a baseline appointment, including clinical assessments, decision-making games, and memory testing. Participants will then complete a shorter, annual follow-up visit once a year for up to 4 years. Participants will also complete an fMRI, if eligible.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Eligible participants will receive between $75 and $130 for the initial appointment, and $50 for each annual visit. Reimbursement for parking and transportation is also available.


Project Title:
Mismatch Negativity and Complex Second-Order Sensory Memory in Schizophrenia
Principal Investigator:
Dean Salisbury, PhD
For Information Contact:

Individuals with Schizophrenia please contact Kevin Eklund, RN, Email: EklundKD@upmc.edu, Telephone: (412) 586-9009
Individuals who do not have Schizophrenia please call the CNRL lab phone number, Telephone: (412) 246-6533

What We Are Studying:
This study seeks to understand more about auditory perceptual and memory problems in psychosis by studying (1) individuals who have just developed symptoms for the first time and have little or no treatment for the symptoms, (2) those with chronic schizophrenia, and (3) healthy individuals with no mental health problems.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Males and Females, Ages 18-55, who either: (1) have received treatment for the first time in the past 2 months for psychosis; (2) have a diagnosis of schizophrenia AND have had at least 3 hospitalizations for psychosis; or (3) healthy individuals with no history of mental health problems.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Those with a history of a diagnosed learning disorder, previous treatment for childhood ADHD, neurological disorder (like seizures) or severe head injury, drug/alcohol dependence. Certain medical illnesses may also exclude individuals from participating.
What Participation Involves:
A screening interview will determine eligibility. Those eligible will complete an EEG session, in which they will hear series of different sounds while watching a silent movie and having their brainwaves recorded to measure sensory memory. Participants will also complete clinical interviews and neuropsychological testing. Approximate time to completion can be up to 10 hours.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Individuals may receive up to $150 for successful completion of the study.


Project Title:
The Couples Study
Principal Investigator:
Paul Pilkonis, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Kristen Cushman, cushmank@upmc.edu 412-246-6517

What We Are Studying:
We are interested in the associations between personality traits, emotions, and how individuals interact with people close to them. We are also interested in the experience of being in a relationship with someone receiving mental health care.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Couples who are currently involved in a romantic relationship for at least a month may be eligible. One person in the couple must be currently receiving mental health treatment and be between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals who are not currently in a romantic relationship, individuals who are not in the age range, and individuals with traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or other major problems of the central nervous system.
What Participation Involves:
Both members of the couple participate, but the information they provide is not shared between them. Participants will complete a series of questionnaires and interviews asking about their past and current mental health treatment; the nature and quality of their relationships with their romantic partner, family, and friends; and how they react in certain situations. Participants will also be asked to complete a computer task and to tell us about their day-to-day lives using smart phones. One task is completed with both people together – a discussion in our office. Some tasks are repeated at different times over a one-year period.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will each receive $25 to $50 for every visit, with maximum compensation that could amount to $805 per person over an entire year.


Project Title:
PADI Study
Principal Investigator:
Anna Manelis, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Tina Liu, Research Associate (Email: padi@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-383-3110)

What We Are Studying:
We are interested in understanding how the brain works in people with and without mood disorders utilizing fMRI scanning.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 45 that have a history of depression or mania.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
People currently in a manic state.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a lifetime psychiatric evaluation and complete self-report questionnaires to determine eligibility at the first visit. During the second visit, the participant will undergo an fMRI scan, complete additional questionnaires, and perform certain cognitive tasks. The fMRI and other tasks are non-invasive.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will receive $10 to $25 for the first visit and $100 for the second visit. Participants will also be reimbursed $10 for transportation at each visit.