For Parents

Many studies at the Developmental Social Neuroscience (DSN) Lab focus on child and adolescent development. To conduct this research, we depend on the participation of families like yours. This page will answer common questions regarding participation in our research studies.

What are you studying?

Our primary goal is to examine social, emotional, and cognitive functioning in teens. We are investigating the changes that occur during adolescence, as your child transitions into adulthood.

What information will you collect?

Each study varies, but generally speaking, we want to understand the following:

How you think and feel: We may ask you and your child to answer some questions about your thoughts, feelings, and daily life.

How your child thinks and makes decisions in response to different types of information: Essentially, your child will see pictures of people or scenes on a computer screen, and make decisions about them by pressing buttons.

Your child’s brain: We typically take pictures using an fMRI scanner that can measure how their brain looks and how it responds to different kinds of information.

What is it like to have an MRI scan and are they safe?

MRI is completely safe, non-invasive, and does not involve any radiation. Please watch this short video for more information.

To participate, the child’s primary caregiver must accompany him/her to an introductory visit. Here, we will assess various aspects of your child’s development through a variety of tasks including surveys and simple computer games. To compare parent-child responses, we will have you perform the same activities. The second session will involve an MRI scan of your child’s brain, which will allow us to assess the effects of social and cognitive functioning on the brain at this critical period in development. We will need you to attend part of this session, although your participation is very minor.

Are we compensated for participating?

Absolutely! We know your time is valuable, so we provide compensation for your family’s participation. This includes money for completing tasks at each session of the study.

Contact us to get involved!

If you and your child are interested in participating in our research, please send us an email at

Eva Telzer