Volunteers needed: Want to donate your brainwaves to science?

Story by Jewel Crasta

The CSU Brainwaves Research Lab is looking for volunteers between the ages of 15 and 30 for a study titled, “Examining the Relationship between Sensory Processing and Attention in Neurotypical Individuals and Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The lab is currently recruiting individuals with a diagnosis of high-functioning autism spectrum disorders or Asperger’s Syndrome.

In this study, the lab is examining 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. The lab uses electroencephalography (EEG) techniques to study how the brain functions. This technology is very safe and can be used even with infants. When participants visit the lab, they are asked to put on a stretchy cap, similar to a bathing cap, that has embedded sensors to record the changes in the small amounts of electrical energy the brain produces while someone is listening to sounds. The lab will teach participants about EEG while the cap is being put on, and participants will get to see their brainwaves displayed on a computer screen.

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

To be eligible:

• Be 15 – 30 years of age
• 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, each lasting two hours. The total time commitment will be from two to four hours. For the first session, participants will fill out 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. Participants will also be asked to complete some paper-and-pencil tasks related to how to attend to details.

This study has been approved by the CSU Institutional Review Board (Protocol 12-3937H).

Those who would like to participate, or have questions, can contact:

Jewel Crasta, email: brainwaves@colostate.edu
Dr. Patti Davies: (970) 491-7294