We are interested in learning more about how the brain functions, especially when processing social interactions, through a brain imaging study.

Marcus Autism Center is recruiting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing children, ages 8 to 13 years for a brain imaging study to help us learn more about how the brain functions, especially when processing social interactions. Our mock magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner training protocol is specially designed to improve the representation of children with ASD in MRI research, especially those with severe symptoms. In doing so, the goal of our protocol is to incorporate behavior training as a component to the mock MRI scanner to familiarize participants with the necessary skills to successfully complete an MRI scan.

If your child qualifies and you choose to join the study, your child will participate for approximately two to seven study visits. The researchers will ask your child to participate in the following: attend MRI training through a mock scanner (one to five visits depending on ability to remain still and not move), complete an MRI scan, and complete social and cognitive assessments and questionnaires.

Who can participate?

The study is open to 8- to 13-year-old children, all genders, race, and ethnicities, both with a professional diagnosis of ASD and typically developing.

What is involved?

  • The MRI training on a mock scanner will last approximately 1 hour (the number of training sessions involved will vary depending on each child’s needs)
  • The MRI scan visit will last approximately 1.5 hours
    • During the scan, we will ask your child to watch video clips while wearing eye-tracking equipment and to remain motionless as the research team takes pictures of your child’s brain
  • Social and cognitive assessment and questionnaire visit that will take 1.5 to 4 hours to complete

What will participants receive?

  • $25 per MRI training session(s)
  • $50 per MRI scan
  • $50 for a social and cognitive assessment visit
  • A picture of your child’s brain
  • Brief report from social and cognitive assessment visit (optional)

Sign up now

Please contact Sydney Messer at sydney.messer@choa.org or 404-785-3932 for more information on this study.