Participate!

Information on Participating in Research

Hello!

Thank you for your interest in the MIT Aging, Memory, and Cognition Project. On this page you will find all the information that you will need to volunteer for participation in our research studies. All of our studies are designed to help shed light on cognitive function across the life span and to extend knowledge about age-related brain changes. There are two different kinds of tasks for which we would welcome your participation, and information on both is provided below. Please note that none of these studies is invasive or involve the use of drugs, and most involve only a single session.

BEHAVIORAL STUDIES

Opportunities are available to participate in behavioral studies, involving paper-and-pencil tests and tasks on computers (no computer experience is necessary to participate). The behavioral studies take place on the MIT Campus in Kendall Square. Our lab is easily accessible by public transportation, but we will provide free parking should you choose to drive here. Volunteers will be paid at an hourly rate for their participation.

Volunteers for behavioral studies must meet the following criteria to be eligible: you must be between either eighteen and thirty-five (18-35) years of age, or between forty and eighty-five (40-85) years of age. In addition, you must be a native speaker of English, have normal or corrected-to-normal hearing and vision, have no history of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, no untreated high blood pressure, and must not be taking any mood-altering drugs.

fMRI STUDIES

Volunteers may also participate in studies that use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to allow researchers to measure the participant's brain activity while various cognitive tasks are performed. The MRI studies take place at Massachusetts General Hospital's NMR Center in Charlestown. Free parking is provided, and the NMR Center is also accessible by a free shuttle service departing from from MGH and North Station.

Alternatively, we can escort you by taxi from our building at MIT, which is easily accessible by public transportation.

Our fMRI studies involve approximately 2 hours of scanning, plus an additional 30 minutes before and after the scans for preparation and post-experiment debriefing. During the first half-hour in the scanner you will simply lie still while we take structural images; during the remainder of the time you will perform simple cognitive tasks (e.g., looking at pictures and words on a screen). We will pay you $25/hour for the MRI, and will also give you an image of your brain.

The major screening criteria to be able to participate in fMRI studies are as follows: you must be between eighteen and thirty-five (18-35) or forty to eighty-five (40-85) years of age, right-handed, a native speaker of English, have NO METAL IN YOUR BODY (some fillings are okay), and are NOT CLAUSTROPHOBIC. In addition, you must not have a history of head trauma or a medical condition that might interfere with breathing (e.g., asthma). Furthermore, you must have no history of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, no untreated high blood pressure, or be taking any mood-altering drugs.

The fMRI study requires that you will be able to lie still during the entire scan, and to help you do this, we place foam cushions around your head and use pads to keep your head immobile. Note also that when you are in the scanner, you are lying on your back, in a relatively narrow space, so if you are very broad shouldered, or of a large build, then this is likely to be uncomfortable for you.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE

If you think that you might be interested in becoming involved in our research studies, please fill out and submit the volunteer questionnaire. No information will be stored anywhere on the website; all of your responses will be kept confidential, securely sent to a password-protected computer accessible only to the researchers involved in this project. Still, if you would prefer to fill out the volunteer questionnaire on paper, in an e-mail, or over the phone, please contact me, and we can arrange that.

REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF PARTICIPATION

Participation in this study is voluntary. You do not have to participate in this study. Your present or future care will not be affected should you choose not to participate. If you decide to participate, you can change your mind and drop out of the study at any time without affecting your present or future care in the Hospitals. In addition, the doctor in charge of this study may decide to end your participation in this study at any time after he/she has explained the reasons for doing so and has helped arrange for your continued care by your own doctor, if needed.

Thank you,

Jeremy Young
Research Coordinator
Aging, Memory, and Cognition Project
Deptartment of Brain & Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(617) 253-7437
jeremyy@MIT.EDU

Volunteer Questionnaire

Please answer the following questions as completely and accurately as possible. Missing or inaccurate information may preclude you from participating in our studies.

Full Name:

E-mail Address:

Mailing Address (please include city and zip code):

Work/Day Phone Number:

Home/Evening Phone Number:

How would you prefer that we contact you? Work/Day Phone Number Home/Evening Phone Number E-Mail

Date of Birth:

Age:

Years of Education:
(High school graduate = 12 years; add 1 year for each year of college and postgraduate study)

Occupation:

Gender: Male Female

Ethnicity: American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander Black, not of Hispanic origin Hispanic White, not of Hispanic origin Other

Marital Status: Single Married Divorced Widowed Other

Weight (lbs):

Height (feet/inches):

How many alcoholic beverages do you consume in a week, if any?

How many cigarettes do you smoke per week, if any?

How many times per week do you exercise, if any?

Participation in our study will require travel to MIT in Cambridge and/or the MGH NMR Center in Charlestown. What are your transportation plans?

Public Transportation (MBTA, subway, bus) Private car/vehicle Bicycle Walk Other

Yes | No

WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN A BEHAVIORAL STUDY?

WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN AN fMRI STUDY?

DO YOU HAVE A VALID SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

ARE YOU RIGHT-HANDED?

ARE YOU A NATIVE SPEAKER OF ENGLISH?

If you are NOT a native speaker of English, how long have you been speaking English?
If you are NOT a native speaker of English, what is your first language?

DO YOU HAVE NORMAL VISION WITHOUT GLASSES OR WITH CONTACTS?

If you do not have normal vision, what is your vision rating without correction?

DO YOU WEAR COLORED CONTACT LENSES (tinted is okay)?

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER VISION PROBLEMS (e.g., colorblind, cataracts, astigmatism)?

If so, please describe:

DO YOU HAVE ANY METAL IN YOUR BODY?

DO YOU HAVE ANY METAL JEWELRY YOU DON'T WANT TO REMOVE?

HAVE YOU EVER DONE METAL WORKING?

DO YOU HAVE ANY DENTAL WORK INCLUDING BRIDGES, WIRES OR OTHER METAL (fillings are OK)?

DO YOU HAVE ANY TATTOOS WITH METAL INK?

ARE YOU CLAUSTROPHOBIC?

DO YOU HAVE ANY BACK OR SPINE PROBLEMS?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME AND/OR FREQUENT URINATION?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF HEAD TRAUMA?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF SEIZURES (consider even one a long time ago)?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF INNER EAR or VESTIBULAR PROBLEMS?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF LEARNING DISORDERS (i.e., ADHD, Dyslexia)?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF EMOTIONAL OR PSYCHIATRIC PROBLEMS?

ARE YOU TAKING ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATION AND/OR DIAGNOSED WITH DEPRESSION?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF HEART DISEASE?

DO YOU HAVE UNTREATED HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

DO YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF HIGH CHOLESTEROL?

DO YOU HAVE DIABETES?

DO YOU HAVE CANCER?

DO YOU HAVE ANY CONDITIONS THAT MIGHT INTERFERE WITH BREATHING?

ARE YOU PREGNANT OR POSSIBLY PREGNANT?

HAVE YOU HAD A PREVIOUS MRI SCAN (head or otherwise)?

HAVE YOU HAD A STROKE?

HAVE YOU HAD KIDNEY FAILURE?

HAVE YOU HAD ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY?

HAVE YOU HAD HYPO-/HYPERGLYCEMIA?

HAVE YOU PARTICIPATED IN PREVIOUS PSYCHOLOGY EXPERIMENTS?

If so, please describe (include the types of stimuli used and when you participated):

 

I have/had/am:

Surgical aneurysm clips

Cardiac pacemaker

Prosthetic heart valve

Neurostimulator implants

Mechanical or electromagnetic pump implants (e.g., insulin pump)

Cochlear/ear implants

Metal rods, plates, or screws

Previous surgery

Meniere's disease (inner ear disease)

Hearing aid

Dentures

Injury to eye involving or possibly involving metal

Currently breast feeding

Intra-uterine device (IUD)

If you've responded "Yes" to any of the above questions, please explain.

Please list any medications you are currently taking, and please specify your reasons for taking them.

Indicate Hand Preference

(Always Left, Usually Left, No Preference, Usually Right, or Always Right)

  AL UL NP UR AR
1. To write a letter legibly
2. To throw a ball to hit a target
3. To play a game requiring the use of a racquet
4. At the top of a broom
5. At the top of a shovel to move sand
6. To hold a match when striking it
7. To hold scissors to cut paper
8. To guide thread through the eye of a needle
9. To deal playing cards
10. To hammer a nail into wood
11. To brush teeth
12. To unscrew the lid of a jar

Any additional comments you would like to make: