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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Project Title:
Anhedonia Development in LGB Youth
Principal Investigator:
Erika Forbes, PhD
For Information Contact:
Morgan Lindenmuth, lindenmuthm@upmc.edu; or Melissa Nance, nancem@upmc.edu; or andplab@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-354-9297
What We Are Studying:
We are assessing various levels of anhedonia (the loss of interest or pleasure in daily life and activities) in lesbian, gay, bisexual teens and how this relates to brain function.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents ages 16-20 who experience same-sex attraction. To see if you are eligible, follow this link: https://pitt.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0JxOhPoUjwwV0XP
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents must not smoke every day or have a history of head trauma.
What Participation Involves:
Adolescents will complete interviews, questionnaires, computer tasks, and an fMRI scan. Parents, if also participating, will complete questionnaires. Questionnaires will be about thoughts and feelings.
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.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
IMPRESS: Modulation of ventrolateral prefrontal cortical activity during reward processing by transcranial direct current stimulation
Principal Investigator:
Mary Phillips, MD
For Information Contact:
Simona Graur (Email: graurs@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-256-8693)
What We Are Studying:
In this study we are conducting investigating the effects of weak electrical stimulation on brain activity as measured by functional MRI.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Persons between the ages of 18 and 45 that have previously been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but have been euthymic (free of bipolar symptoms) for at least two months (Bipolar Euthymic Group). Persons between the ages of 18 and 45 that have no history of psychiatric disorders (Control Group).
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Participants are not eligible if they are not between 18-45 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. Participants in the Bipolar Euthymic Group must currently be in remission with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a lifetime psychiatric evaluation. Participants will also complete various tasks while having an fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan during which we will also be investigating the effects of weak electrical stimulation on brain activity. The stimulation is applied on the scalp with a non-FDA approved method called tDCS (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation). While almost unnoticeable to you, these currents can still temporarily affect brain activity without causing any known adverse effects. This stimulation would be applied while you are in the MRI scanner so that the brain activity can be measured.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Screening: Participants will be paid $25 for the screen visit.
fMRI: Participants will be paid $75 for each scan if you complete the scan and self-report questionnaires. In addition, there is the potential to be paid an additional $6 at each scan related to the outcome of games of chance played in the scanner.
Thus, if you complete the entire study (screen visit and both fMRI visits) you will be paid $175 plus a potential additional $12 related to the outcome of games of chance played in the scanner.
Brochure Location:
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:
The Emotional Growth Study
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 better understand how preschool age children learn to control their emotions. The researchers are particularly interested in which children might be at risk for mental illness based on how their brains understand and control emotions, and how their home life might affect their development.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Children ages 4 or 5; No history of psychiatric disorders; Willing and able to have an MRI scan; Likes to play computer games
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
History of psychiatric disorders; History of seizures; History of head trauma with loss of consciousness
What Participation Involves:
This study occurs over a two year period. You will make three visits (2-3 hours each) total when your child is 4, 5 and 6 years old or 5, 6 or 7 years old. Visit times are flexible to suit your schedule. Study participation includes completing questionnaires and interviews, providing hair samples, and monitoring sleep and other activities. At each visit, your child will wear a headband or hat (similar to a swim cap) that uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to monitor brain activity in the front part of the brain. fNIRS is safe and painless. Parents will also wear a fNIRS device during the first visit. An fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) will be done at the last visit when your child is 6 or 7 years old. An fMRI scan is an imaging technique for measuring brain function. fMRI is non-invasive and does not involve radiation.
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:
Anhedonia Study
Principal Investigator:
Erika Forbes, PhD
For Information Contact:
Morgan Lindenmuth, lindenmuthm@upmc.edu; or Melissa Nance, nancem@upmc.edu; or andplab@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-354-9297
What We Are Studying:
We are assessing various levels of anhedonia (the loss of interest or pleasure in daily life and activities) and how it affects brain function over the course of adolescence.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Adolescents aged 13-19 with a full biological parent or sibling with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia /schizophrenia-related disorders). 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 with a history of head trauma.
What Participation Involves:
The study involves online questionnaires and 3 in-person visits conducted over 3 years. Parents will complete interviews and questionnaires. Adolescents will complete interviews, questionnaires, computer tasks, and an fMRI scan.
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.
Brochure Location: