Participate in Research

People like you make the difference!

By participating in a research project, you play a part in helping physicians and researchers develop better ways to diagnose and treat people with mental illness. As a research participant, you learn about the causes of specific mental health problems and what can be done to manage these conditions. 

Find a study to participate in: Enter a keyword below (for example, "depression")

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Select keyword(s) from the list below:

Project Title:
Social Brain Interaction Study - ASD (Children)
Principal Investigator:
Susan B. Perlman, PhD
For Information Contact:
Lisa Bemis (Email: bemislm@upmc.edu; Office: 412-383-5260; Text: 412-463-1253)
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to use optical imaging to study brain interaction in social situations. Researchers are interested in how parents and children's brains work together while they are interacting, how this relates to their typical interaction outside of the laboratory, and how these interactions might differ in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Children with ASD ages 5-12; Male or female; Must be verbal; No history of head injury with loss of consciousness; No history of seizures
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Children born prematurity under 34 weeks; Adopted from a foreign county; History of seizures
What Participation Involves:
Participation includes one visit that will take about 1-2 hours to complete. Study procedures involve parent and child participating in a short interaction with each other and with one of the lab staff members. During this interaction, parent and child will have their brains monitored with a machine that emits light. This procedure is safe and painless. The child will also be asked to wear a small device that records his/her speech and that of those around you and him/her for a few days after the lab visit.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants are compensated plus reimbursement for travel and a small prize.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Social Brain Interaction Study - ASD (Adults)
Principal Investigator:
Susan B. Perlman, PhD
For Information Contact:
Lisa Bemis (Email: bemislm@upmc.edu; Office: 412-383-5260; Text: 412-463-1253)
What We Are Studying:
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are looking for adults diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a research study investigating the brain during social interaction.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adults with ASD ages 18-45; Male or female; Must be verbal; No history of head injury with loss of consciousness; No history of seizures
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
History of head injury with loss of consciousness; History of seizures; Nonverbal
What Participation Involves:
Participation includes one visit that will take about 1-2 hours to complete. Participants will wear a safe and painless device measuring brain activity using infrared light while interacting with another person and wear a small device that records their daily conversations in their homes. fNIRS is safe and painless as walking outside on a sunny day.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants are paid $75 plus reimbursement for travel.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Inflammation and the Development of Depression
Principal Investigator:
Erika Forbes, PhD
For Information Contact:
Morgan Lindenmuth, lindenmuthm@upmc.edu; or Melissa Nance, nancem@upmc.edu; 412-589-9013
What We Are Studying:
We are studying inflammatory cytokines (small proteins in cells), and how they relate to the development of depression in adolescents.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents aged 13-19 who have a biological parent or sibling with a history of depression, but no history of depression themselves.
To see if you are eligible, follow this link: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_dcgHy3FloBmfNNb
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents who have a history of head injuries or mental illness.
What Participation Involves:
The adolescent and their immediate family member with a history of depression will both complete interviews and questionnaires. The adolescent will also complete computer tasks, an fMRI scan, and a blood draw.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
PADI Study
Principal Investigator:
Anna Manelis, PhD
For Information Contact:
Email: padi@upmc.edu (preferred); 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 and NIRS 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 and NIRS scan, complete additional questionnaires, and perform certain cognitive tasks. The fMRI, NIRS and other tasks are non-invasive.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will receive $25 for the first visit and up to $100 for the second visit. Participants will also be reimbursed $10 for transportation at each visit.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Youth Emotion and Brain Study
Principal Investigator:
Lauren Bylsma, PhD
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.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Schizophrenia Treatment and Cognitive Remediation using Transcranial Electrical Stimulation
Principal Investigator:
Dean Salisbury, PhD
For Information Contact:
Tim Murphy: murphyt3@upmc.edu; 412-246-6556
What We Are Studying:
Our lab is studying the therapeutic effects of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) in schizophrenia. tES is a safe and noninvasive technique that delivers very weak electrical current into the brain using electrodes positioned on the scalp. We are using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the electrical activity of the brain while individuals listen to different sounds and respond to visual stimuli. We are comparing EEG responses before and after treatment with tES to examine how changes in these responses may be related to treatment of symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are eligible for this study.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with a history of head trauma, seizures, electroconvulsive therapy, a learning disorder, childhood treatment for ADHD, recent history of drug or alcohol abuse, or who have undergone drug or alcohol detox in the last 5 years are not eligible for this study.
What Participation Involves:
You will first undergo a hearing screen to determine if you are eligible for this study. Then, you will perform a short interview with regards to any hallucinations you may experience. Following this, you will have the natural electrical activity of your brain measured using EEG while you either perform a simple task or watch a silent video. Halfway through the EEG session you will receive a tES treatment in which a very weak electrical current is applied to a small area on the scalp. Following this tES treatment, you will then perform the same EEG tasks you performed prior to tES. One week after this visit we will follow up with you over the telephone to ask a few questions about any symptom improvements you may have experienced since the treatment.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
If you agree to take part in this study, you will be paid up to $50. If you do not pass the hearing screen, you will be paid $10 for the screening session. If you complete the hearing screen and the EEG and tES session you will be paid $40 for participation. If you complete the follow up questions approximately one to two weeks after your session, you will be paid an additional $10. The overall total you can receive from this study is $50. If you are unable to complete the research study due to complications with tES or EEG, you will be paid the full $50.
Brochure Location: