Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen when I participate?

Each research study is unique, with methods that specifically target the research questions being asked. However, most studies involve three main components:
• Interveiws/questionnaires
• Neurocognitive testing
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Below we provide more details regarding each of these study components, so that you will know exactly what you can expect when you agree to participate:


It is important that we learn as much as we can about our participants, as the causes and consequences of mental disorder often rest in the details. Most research studies thus involve a detailed interview, undertaken by one our trained research staff, during which you will be asked questions about your family, your friends, your work and family life, your educational background, your personality, and your behavioral tendencies. Imagine something akin to us collecting a Coles-notes version of This is Your Life.
Neuropsychological Testing. Neuropsychological testing involves having our participants complete a variety of puzzles or problems that measure cognitive and emotional skills including visual attention, memory, planning, reasoning and impulsivity. Each study includes a different assortment of puzzles, to best target the mental processes relevant to that study. These puzzles are intended to be challenging, but many participants report that they are quite fun and interesting.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

MRIs allow us to obtain 3-dimentional images of your brain. Many of you have probably had one before, of your elbow or your knee or your back. It’s a perfectly safe, non-invasive procedure that does not involve any x-ray radiation. The MRIs that we use in our studies utilize the exact same technology – just that instead of imaging your elbow or your knee, we image your brain. Often while you’re having your MRI we will ask you to perform a variety of simple tasks, which allows us to see what parts of your brain are particularly active as you complete each tasks. For more information regarding MRI, click here.

What do I get out of this?

Participants in our research studies perform a critical role, contributing to advance our understanding of the healthy brain, and furthering research into the causes and treatments for brain disease and mental illness. In addition to this critical contribution, participants in CANdiLab research projects can expect to be fairly compensated for their time and commitment. Please look into each individual research study for details regarding compensation levels, or feel free to contact us at

Will what I tell you about myself remain confidential?

Yes. Everything you tell us during a research study will be kept in the strictest of confidence. Indeed, CANdiLab has obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institute of Health, which is intended to prevent us from needing to reveal any information you tell us, even under subpoena from a court of law. So unless you tell us that you are going to hurt yourself or someone else, then everything you tell us will remain in the strictest of confidence. We need our participants be completely honest with us for our research to be successful, and we know that the only way to do that is to guarantee your complete privacy.

What if something is wrong with my brain?

It’s very rare to find something physically wrong with someone’s brain. However, it does happen, and we have on occasion identified abnormalities in participants’ brains (e.g. tumors). While CANdiLab MRIs are not sufficient to base clinical decisions on, all scans are read by a qualified radiologist. If we do see something on our MRI scan that may suggest a problem, we will quickly notify you.