For Kids

Thanks for your interest in our page to learn more about our research studies! Our research depends on volunteers like you! Very frequently participants have questions about what’s involved in coming to our lab. The information below will describe what it would be like, so you can decide if you want to participate.

What role will I play in the research study?

Being a research participant means that you will visit us at the Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab so that we can find out more about you. The information we collect from you will be combined with information from other teens, so that we can understand peoples’ thoughts and feelings, and how they change as people grow up.

What information do you collect from me in the study?

We want to discover what makes you, YOU! Each study is a little different, but in general, we want to find out this kind of information:

– How you think and feel: We might ask you to answer some questions about your thoughts, feelings, and how your body is changing as you grow up.

– How your brain responds to pictures or scenes: We might have you view different images on a computer screen, and make decisions about them by pressing buttons.

– In addition, we might take pictures of your brain! We take pictures using an fMRI scanner that can measure how your brain looks and how it responds to different kinds of information.

What’s it like to be in an MRI scanner?

Taking MRI images is like taking a picture with a long exposure. Just like pictures, if you move in the scanner, the brain images become blurry. The MRI scanner can be a little noisy, but you get to wear earplugs to muffle the sound. We also have a pretend scanner to practice with, so you can get used to the MRI machine. This will help you practice holding really still like a statue!
Please watch this short video about what it’s like to get an MRI. Just remember you won’t be visiting the hospital; you’ll be at the Brain Research Imaging Center for research.

Do I get anything for participating?

We will pay you for the time you participate in our studies. brain-kidsWe will also teach you more about our research, so that you can learn about the brain and how it changes as you grow up. Your participation will help us better understand teenage brain development and may lead to improved teenage health in the future!

Are my answers to your questions private?

All your information is kept protected and confidential. All of our studies are reviewed and approved by Institutional Review Board of the University of North Carolina to ensure ethics and safety. All data are securely locked away and kept separated from your personal information to protect your identity.

Contact us to get involved!

If you’re interested in participating in our research, you or your parent(s) should send us an email at

Eva Telzer