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Paid Participants Needed for Georgetown Study on Blindness

The Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition at the Georgetown University Medical Center is seeking paid participants for a couple of studies on brain function for individuals who are at least 18 years old and are blind and have been since birth to 2 years of age. Those who lost vision after the age of 2 will not qualify. All studies take place at the Georgetown University Medical Center and there are many dates and times available through mid-January. Compensation is provided!

Musical Rhythm Study

The Georgetown research team is conducting a study to understand enhanced musical abilities in blindness. This fun study, led by Jessica Phillips-Silver, Ph.D., is about how we perceive musical rhythm—and feel the beat! The full details are provided at http://linc.georgetown.edu/musical-rhythm-study

What will you do in this study?

You will be asked to listen to musical rhythms, such as the sounds of drum beats, and to briefly move along with the experimenter by bending your knees gently to the beat. Next you will comfortably enter the brain scanner, which is safe and allows us to measure your brain activity, for just under an hour. In the scanner, you will listen to the rhythms, tap along for a few, minutes, and then make choices with a button press about the rhythms you recognize and the various instrument sounds you hear. The study is enjoyable and you will receive pictures of your own brain!

How long is this study and what is the compensation?

The entire study lasts approximately 2 hours. As compensation for your time, you will be given $50 for the scanner time, and $25 for the preparation time, for a total of $75. You will also be reimbursed for your transportation when you provide receipts.

For more information and to discuss the details of your experience with us here at Georgetown, please contact:

Jessica Phillips-Silver, Ph.D. (lead researcher)
Telephone: 202-687-8842
E-mail: jsp102@georgetown.edu

Or

Sebastian Pena (lab manager)
Telephone: 202-687-8842
E-mail: sebastian.pena@georgetown.edu

Sound Localization Study

Prior research indicates that blind individuals localize sounds more accurately than the sighted. The aim of this project is to map the processes in the brain underlying the superior development of this perceptual skill in early blind individuals. The full details are provided at http://linc.georgetown.edu/sound-localization-study.

Qualifying participants must be from ages 18-55 and blind since no later than 2 years of age.

The project consists of two parts that will take place on one day. During the first part, we will record sound clips of sound sources at various locations using special microphones that are placed in your ears just like regular iPod headphones. We will also perform a short hearing test.

The second part is an fMRI scan during which the previously recorded sound clips will be played to you in a sound localization task while the response of your brain is measured. fMRI is an entirely harmless method to measure brain activity.

How long is this study and what is the compensation?

The entire study will last approximately 4 hours. You will be given compensation in the amount of $50 for the first part and $100 for the second part, for a total of $150 for the full study. You will also be reimbursed for your transportation when you provide receipts.

For more information and to discuss the details of your experience with Georgetown, please contact:

Kiki Derey (lead researcher)
Telephone: 202-687-8358
E-mail: kd644@georgetown.edu

Or

Sebastian Pena (lab manager)
Telephone: 202-687-8842
E-mail: sebastian.pena@georgetown.edu