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Volunteer for research

Get involved! See below for ways to participate in ongoing studies at The Picower Institute and The Aging Brain Initiative.

Application of Sensory Stimulation for Gamma Frequency Entrainment

 IRB # 1712179268

The Tsai Laboratory is looking for healthy volunteers ages 18-35 to participate in a study looking at how tactile vibrations affect the brain. You will be asked to come to our laboratory for a one-time visit lasting approximately 2 hours. You will complete memory testing for the first part of the visit. For the remaining part of the visit, you will be asked to complete an electroencephalogram (EEG) recording where we will record your brain wave activity. You will be asked to do activities including sitting with your eyes open or closed while touching a vibrating speaker device with your hand. All participants will be compensated for their time.

If interested, please contact Gabrielle de Weck.


Acute Exposure of Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease to Gamma Frequency Stimulation

IRB #2110000486

This study looks at how the brain responds to light, sound, and tactile stimulation in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. 

Criteria for Participation

  • Be between the ages of 45-90
  • Diagnosis of Parkinson’s in Hoehn & Yahr stage 2-3 
  • Have no history of seizures, epilepsy, or stroke
  • not on an active treatment with an anti-epileptic agent 
  • no history of dementia or cognitive impairments, major depression, bipolar disorder, or any other major psychiatric condition
  • no history of migraine headaches

This single-session, approximately 4-hour long study involves:

  • pre-study mental health evaluations and memory tests- you will fill out a series of questionnaires
  • EEG recordings- a cap with electrodes will be placed on your head to record your brain activity
  • Exposure to light flicker, click sounds, and/or tactile vibrations delivered at high frequencies – You will be asked to sit in front of an LED panel with speakers and look at the panel while they output light and sounds that are meant to alter your brain activity. You will also be asked to touch and interact with a vibrating speaker device
  • Additional cognitive tests following the stimulation 
  • Financial compensation at $20-30/hr for participation 

If interested, please contact Gabrielle de Weck.


Research Study Volunteers Needed

IRB # 1804343699A001

The Neuroscience Statistics Research Laboratory is looking for healthy volunteers to participate in a study about physiological signals. Electrodermal activity (EDA) measures sweat gland activity in the skin. Heartrate variability is a normally occurring phenomenon in all people. EEG measures brain activity. All you will be asked to do is come to our lab and spend about 3 hours with several electrodes attached to your non-dominant hand and wrist, a few standard adhesive medical electrodes on the torso and forehead, and a belt around the torso to collect data. During the first hour, you can bring something to read or watch; we just ask that you not sleep or type on a computer using the hand with electrodes. During the second hour, we will ask you to do several tasks intended to cause changes in your “fight-or-flight” response, like breathing along with a metronome, standing and sitting repeatedly, looking at specific pictures, gripping and holding a dynamometer at a certain force, dipping your hand in a container of ice water, and being strapped to a tilt table. You will be reimbursed for your time with a gift card for $10 at the end.

If interested, please contact Sandya Subramanian (sandya@mit.edu).


Research Study Volunteers Needed

IRB # 1908962521

This study looks at how the brain responds to light and sound stimulation in Individuals with Down syndrome

Criteria for Participation:

  • Be between the ages of 25-65.
  • Clinical Diagnosis of Down syndrome.
  • Have no history of seizures, epilepsy or stroke in the past 24 months.
  • Not on active treatment with an anti-epileptic agent.
  • Have no history of major depression, bipolar disorder or psychotic disorders, or any other major psychiatric condition.
  • Have no history of migraine headaches.

This single-session, approximately 3.5 hour-long study involves:

  • Pre-study mental health evaluations – You will be asked to answer a series of questions and fill out a questionnaire.
  • EEG recordings – A cap with electrodes will be placed on your head in order to measure your brain activity.
  • Exposure to light flicker and/or click sounds delivered at high frequencies – You will be asked to sit in front of an LED panel with speakers and look at the panel while they output light and sounds that are meant to alter your brain activity.
  • Additional cognitive testing following light/sound stimulation session

  • Financial compensation up to $75 at the completion of the study visit

If interested, please contact Gabrielle de Weck by email at gdeweck@mit.edu or call 617-258-7723.