Participate in a Study

Participate in one of our studies!

If you would like to participate in a behavioral study or an fMRI study, please call the lab at (973)353-1827, or contact us at  We can discuss any questions you may have about our studies, methods, and participating in our research.  A behavioral study takes about 30 minutes to one hour, while an fMRI study takes about two hours.

If you would like to find out more about what is involved in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, please read below and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

General Information about fMRI
MRI Machine

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is an imaging technique that allows us to observe the human brain at work, providing a window into how different parts of the brain may contribute to our everyday behavior.

During a typical fMRI study in our lab, you will be taken to the Rutgers University Brain Imaging Center (RUBIC) located in the Aidekman Neuroscience Center building (next door to Smith Hall). There, you will lie on a table like the one pictured above. Foam pads will be placed around your head to minimize head movement during the scan. The table will then be positioned into the scanner so that your head and upper body are inside the magnet tube. The scanner is noisy, so you will also wear earplugs to reduce the noise made by the scanner. During the entire scanning session, you will be asked to lie still. Conventional anatomical scans will be obtained during the first 15 minutes, where you can just relax or even watch a movie, projected inside the scanner. These scans provide us with a picture of your brain. After this, high-speed functional images will be obtained while you will likely be performing a cognitive task. These functional images will show us which structures in your brain are active while you are performing a task.

Throughout the scanning experience, we are in contact with you as we want to ensure your experience is comfortable. At the end of the session, you may see your brain, if you wish, and get a picture of it! We will then also tell you about the experiment you participated in and how you have contributed to advancing research and our scientific knowledge. Lastly, you will receive the agreed upon compensation.

fMRI representation of brain activation

sagittal structural MRI image of the brain

Risks and Restrictions

There are no known or foreseeable risks or side effects associated with MRI procedures except to those people who have metal implanted in their bodies (such as cardiac pacemakers), or to those who have clips on blood vessels in their brain. Prior to taking part in the study, we will screen you for previous exposure to metallic fragments or to implanted devices. When going into the fMRI room, you will also be asked to place all metallic and magnetic objects (e.g. keys, jewelry, credit cards) outside the magnet room in a locker provided for you. 

Please read the following restrictions carefully:

  • If you are pregnant, you can not participate.
  • If you have a metal implant in your body, we will screen you first to see if you are eligible to participate.
  • If you wear glasses, we ask you to wear contact lenses, or we can fit you with MRI compatible glasses (plastic frames available at the imaging center).
  • If you are claustrophobic, you may not like the experience. Contact us and we can discuss it with you.
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Contact Information
Participate in a Study
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Rutgers University - Newark | Department of Psychology | Smith Hall | 101 Warren St. | Newark NJ 07102 | Phone: (973)353-1827
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