Lab looking for volunteers to donate their brainwaves to science

The CSU Brainwaves Research Lab in the Department of Occupational Therapy is currently conducting two studies and is looking for people with autism/Asperger’s disorder (15 – 30 years old), neurotypical adults (18-25 years old), and adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders (18-25 years old) to volunteer their time to help in one of the two studies described below.

The lab is conducting a series of studies to help better understand how brain activity changes in different populations. It uses electroencephalography (EEG) techniques to study attention and cognitive functions. The technology is very safe and can be used even with infants. When participants visit the lab, they will be asked to put on a stretchy cap on their head, similar to a bathing cap that has embedded metal sensors to record the changes in the small amounts of electrical energy the brain produces while thinking. The lab will teach participants about EEG while putting on the cap, and participants will get to see their brainwaves displayed on a computer screen.

People with Autism/Asperger’s disorder

Research subjectThe goal of this study, titled, Examining the Relationship between Sensory Processing and Attention in Neurotypical Individuals and Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, is to examine how attention impacts one’s ability to process sensory information during simple tasks, such as pressing a button to a certain sound and ignoring other sounds.

Participants will be given compensation of $20 for participating in this study.

To be eligible:

  • Be 15 – 30 years of age
  • Have a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Have no past history of neurological conditions (e.g., traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, or stroke), or major psychiatric conditions (e.g., schizophrenia)

The project requires two visits to the Brainwaves Lab in the Gifford Building at CSU. The total time commitment will be from two to four hours.  For the first session, participants will be administered a questionnaire that will be used to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. For the second session, participants will complete computer activities while wearing the EEG cap. The lab will also ask participants to complete some paper-and-pencil tasks related to how to attend to details. The study has been approved by the CSU Institutional Review Board (Protocol 12-3937H).

Please email Jewel Crasta at to participate.

Neurotypical adults and adults with ADHD

The goal of this study, entitled, “Reliability of Cognitive Brain Activity in Children, Adults, and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” is to understand the reliability of electroencephalography (EEG) measures of cognition in different populations. The lab is currently recruiting two groups:

  • Adults aged 18 to 25 years old who do not have learning, neurological, developmental or psychiatric disorders
  • Adults aged 18 to 25 years old who have been diagnosed with ADHD
  • Participants will need to be off medication 24 hours prior to the experiment if they are currently on ADHD-related medication

This study will consist of three visits, which will be arranged to be maximally convenient for participants. The first two visits will each last approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, and the third visit will last about an hour. For the first two visits, participants will be asked to perform three computer tasks while wearing the EEG cap. Following EEG, they will complete some simple, game-like pencil-paper and verbal tasks. For the third visit, the lab will assess functional assessments, including activities of daily living and social interactions. During this session, participants will perform two everyday tasks, like making a sandwich, and participants will engage in two social interactions with their social partner while being observed by a researcher. Participants will receive $5 after the first session, $5 after the second session, and $10 after the third session. This study has been approved by the CSU Institutional Review Board (Protocol 08-596H)

Please email Mei-Heng Lin at to participate.

The Department of Occupational Therapy is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.