Research Participation

Thank you for your interest in participating in our research or providing referral of our web site to potential participants. We can provide convenient on-site free parking for our participants during the lab visit.

I. Submit Online Recruitment/Inquiry Form

If you would like to participate in our study or request more information, please fill in the following form. You can also choose to email us at ude.nmu|balgnahz#ude.nmu|balgnahz or call us at 612-624-7818.

In your message, please tell us about yourself (and your child, if applicable) and what study you are interested in.

Note: Our Lab receives participants on weekdays as well as on weekends.

II. Current studies looking for participants (Infants, children, adults, including autistic people)

Speech and Voice Processing in the Brain (IRB Approval Code Number: 0909M72002)

We are looking for participants (including autistic children, typically developing children and adults) in a research project that will examine how people process speech and voice. For child participants, parents or legal guardians will be given the information to help make the decision about voluntary participation.

Please click here for the flyer for autistic children and typically developing children.

Please click here for the adult fMRI experiment flyer.

Please click here for the flyer of the whole project; there are many different experiments in the study.

Please click here for commonly asked questions and answers about participating in an fMRI study at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. We will use the CMRR MRI facility for the fMRI part of the project.

Infant Studies (IRB Approval Code Number: 0802M26522)

Infant EEG

We are looking for infant participants to study examine language preference and speech perception early in life. This project is approved by the University of Minnesota in compliance with regulations on human subject protection (IRB Code Number: 0802M26522).

The payment for one-hour participant in the infant study is $20. We provide free parking next to our lab.

Please click here for our infant study flyer.

Numbers and the Brain Project (IRB Approval Code Number: 0904M65004)

Child EEG

We are looking for participants (autistic children, typically developing children, and adults) in a study that will examine how people process numbers. The study uses both behavioral and brain measures in the following groups. This project is approved by the University of Minnesota in compliance with regulations on human subject protection (IRB Code Number: 0904M65004).

This studies takes up to 3 hours to complete. Participants can choose to do the experiments for 1, or 2 or 3 hours.

Please click here for our number study flyer.

Other Adult Studies

We conduct a series of adult studies on speech-language-hearing related research topics. The hourly compensation rate is typically $7 ~ 10 for adult studies.

Adult EEG

Current adult studies:
  • Auditory grouping (IRB Code: 0610S95507)
  • Selective attention in listening (IRB Code: 0803M28424)
  • Neural coding of speech sounds (IRB code: 0804M31461)
  • Syntactic and semantic processing (IRB code: 0812M55822)
  • EEG study of spatial deixis (IRB code: 0904S63901)

Cross-Language Studies

Native Japanese speakers and bilingual speakers needed

  • Spatial cognition and language project (IRB Code: 0709S16663)
  • Speech duration perception project (IRB code: 0811M54183)
  • MEG studies on speech perception (IRB code: 0605M85808)

III. General information for potential participants (Infants, children and adults)

Research purpose

The studies will help us better understand learning and memory for linguistic, cognitive and social functions. This information is crucial to the advancement of science and the development of effective training or intervention strategies to help people learn better, especially for children and adults with speech-language-hearing problems. Your participation makes an important contribution to science. If you are interested, here is a link for online resources that discuss the broader significance and impact of our research.

What to expect in EEG, fMRI, MEG studies

You will receive instructions and reminder for the study on or before the experiment day. You will be asked to sit or lie down still during recordings and avoid excessive blinking or bodily movements. Gum chewing is not allowed during experiment as it distorts the recorded data.

If the study uses EEG measurement, we will measure your head circumference and place a good-sized electrode cap on you. We will fill the electrodes with water soluble conductive gel. The cap fitting procedure takes approximately 15~20 minutes. Experiments typically consist of multiple short sessions, each of which contain certain tasks and can be completed in 3~20 minutes. For auditory experiment, your hearing will be tested first to ensure appropriate sound presentation. Multiple breaks are allowed during the experiment, and we will also offer you water if needed. After the experiment, you will use a sink to wash your hair. We have shampoo, towel, comb, and hair-dryer in the washing room. The EEG studies are conducted in Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

Siemens MRI Scanner

If the study uses MRI scanner, you will be asked to leave any metallic objects you may be carrying (including coins, keys, jewelry, mobile phones, credit cards, belt with metal, etc. ) in the lockers provided. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing with minimal metal fastenings. Female participants are advised to wear bras with no metallic elements. Glasses cannot be worn inside the MRI scanner; however, prescription (non-tinted) contact lenses are OK. The following items would disqualify you from being an MRI subject for safety reasons or for data quality concerns: permanent dental retainer, metal fragments in the eyes, cardiac pacemaker, dental braces, aneurysm clip, neurostimulator, cochlear implant, shrapnel. To further ensure your safety, an MRI scan will not be performed until you have fully completed a screening questionnaire and a consent form. The researcher must be informed about the following conditions to determine whether you are qualified for the study:
* History of head trauma
* Surgical aneurysm clips
* Cardiac pacemaker
* Prosthetic heart valve
* Neurostimulator
* Implanted pumps
* Previous Surgery
* Metal rods, plates, or screws
* Cochlear implants
* Meniere's Disease
* Hearing aid
* Dentures
* Injury to the eyes (involving metal)
* Pregnant
* Breast feeding
* Tattoos
* Claustrophobia
* Physical discomfort (body size, back or neck pain, etc.)
* Movement disorders (i.e., ticks, restless legs, etc., that may cause movement artifact)
* Vision / Hearing problems
* Problems using response devices

As required by the MRI protocol, here is a list of items not to bring or wear in the scanner:
* Keys, wallet, and cell phones, other items in your pockets
* Metal jewelry
* Watches
* Hair holders
* Eye glasses
* Metal on clothing (i.e. metal buttons, snaps or trimming, underwire bras, belt buckles)
* Eye shadow (many contain metallic specks)
* Colored contact lenses (bring a case to store contacts in during scanning)

Please arrive on time as other researchers using the scanner are counting on us to finish on time.

For location information of the MRI facility, please click here.

4D MEG at United Hospital (St. Paul)

If the study uses MEG measurement, the compatiblity requirements are similar to the fMRI study. MEG is extremely sensitive to metal and electrical objects. The following conditions would not be suitable for MEG:
* Cardiac pacemaker
* Surgical aneurysm clips
* Vagal nerve stimulator and/or other neurostimulator
* Implanted pumps
* Prosthetic heart valve
* Cochlear implant
* Other implanted medical device
* Steel pins from root canals
* Metal fragments in body or eyes (from previous surgery or injury)
* Metal rods, plates, or screws in body or mouth
* Braces or permanent retainers
* Tattoos containing metal

The following items need to be removed for MEG scanning:
* Hearing aid
* Retainers, dentures, bridges (non-permanent)
* Piercings

Items that are not allowed in the Magnetically Shielded Room on the day of scan are listed as follows:
* Any electronic devices and devices with metal (examples: cell phones, watch, keys)
* Eye glasses with metal frames or pins
* Hair accessories (metal or non-metal)
* Styling products in hair (gel, hairspray, etc.)
* Metal jewelry
* Clothes (including bra) containing metallic elements (examples: zippers, snaps, metallic buttons)
* Wallet with cards that have magnetic strips
* Makeup containing metal flakes

The MEG researcher must be informed about the following conditions to determine whether you are qualified for the study:
* Previous surgery
* Previous head trauma
* Claustrophobia
* Root canal(s) and metal fillings in teeth

The MEG facility is located at United Hospital in downtown St. Paul. We will provide detailed instructions to you for participating in an MEG study.

Click here for more information about the MEG facility.

Safety and payment

All studies in Zhang Lab are approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), also known as the Human Subject Protection Committee at the University. As a token of our appreciation, participants typically receive $10~30 in cash depending on the actual experiment. Please contact us at ude.nmu|balgnahz#ude.nmu|balgnahz if you have questions or concerns.

Free parking for research participants at Shevlin Hall

Free convenient parking next to our lab in Shevlin Hall is available for research participants. We can also provide parking at other research sites for fMRI and MEG studies, if needed. Please contact us for arranging a parking permit prior to your visit. Click here for contact info, map and driving directions.

Research scheduling 7 days a week

We aim to be able to schedule and run studies seven days a week. Scheduling on Saturdays and Sundays is not uncommon.

Privacy and recorded data

The IRB procedure requires you to read and sign a consent form. Your privacy is protected and secured in accordance with HIPAA and IRB requirements. Any report of individual and group data will be anonymous. If we notice any unusual brain activities such as signs of seizure, we will provide referral to you for a possible medical exam at certified hospitals.

Voluntary nature

Participants can withdraw before or during the experiment at any time. Payment will be prorated for the actual amount time in the experiment. Your decision to participate or withdraw will not affect your relationships with the University of Minnesota and its affiliated organizations.

Consent form example

Consent forms and details will be provided to all participants (See an example form below). The following example form has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at University of Minnesota. Subjects are required to fill the consent form and payment form to receive payment in cash. Click here for the consent form example titled "Neural coding of speech sounds." Please note that each study is different in the exact experimental tasks.

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