Our lab is always looking for kids and teens to participate in our research! It is only through the interest and contributions of research participants and their families that we are able to learn about brain development. 

What happens when I visit the Lab?


Behavioral studies involve playing simple computer games.  Neuroimaging studies measure brain activity while kids/teens play computer games.  This is done using a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and does not hurt and is not harmful.

What is fMRI?


fMRI is a technique used to take pictures of a person’s brain. It is non-invasive and non-painful, using magnet and radio waves to detect small change in blood flow, which is assumed to be an indirect measure of brain activity. Here is a video by Carnegie Mellon University regarding the MRI experience.

How long do visits last?


Each study involves a different amount of time. Most projects require 2 visits. The first visit lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours, and the second visit lasts about 1-2 hours.

Is there compensation?


Families are compensated for their time. Compensation varies by study. In addition, each participant receives an image of his/her brain!

When are appointments?


Appointments can be made at your convenience. We can schedule day and/or evening sessions on weekdays and weekends.

Will data be kept confidential?


YES. After your visit, your name is replaced with a number, and no identifying information is         associated with your child’s data. All studies are reviewed and approved by the UCLA Institutional Review Board (IRB), which reviews research studies to ensure ethics and safety. If you have any questions regarding this process, the IRB can be contacted at (310) 825-8714.

Department of Psychology, 1322 Franz Hall Los Angeles, CA 90095 Phone: (310) 794-7750 Email: galvanlab@ucla.edu 

Become a science ambassador:

Help us launch our exciting new program geared towards teenagers in high school. Science Ambassadors will gain first-hand experience with our studies and will share those experiences with their peers. This program is meant to bridge academic research with the larger community.  Apply here.

ONGOING STUDIES IN NEED OF PARTICIPANTS:

Family and Sleep Study:

If interested, email: galvanlabucla@gmail.com | Call/Text: 408.693.9884


We are seeking teens, ages 14-18, to participate in an fMRI study about sleep and brain development. Participants wear a sleep watch at home and respond to brief texts for two weeks before visiting UCLA for a brain scan. The UCLA visit lasts about three hours and for the teen involves: a blood draw (less than a tablespoon), an interview about their daily life, and an fMRI scan during which teens play a computer game in the scanner. Parents will fill out questionnaires and also participate in a brief interview. Teen participants must be right-handed & read/speak English or Spanish fluently, must not be pregnant, claustrophobic (afraid of small spaces), have metal that cannot be removed (including braces), or have any neurological or mental health illness (including ADHD). Qualified teens will earn $160 and parents will earn $30 for participating!

Learning and Brain Development:

If interested, email: ucla.FBLstudy@gmail.com | Call/Text: 424.276.1247


We are seeking teens and pre-teens, ages 12-16, to participate in an fMRI study about brain development and learning. Participants visit UCLA twice: At Visit 1, they learn more about the study, fill out questionnaires, and complete learning tasks on the computer. At Visit 2, they complete additional learning tasks while undergoing an MRI brain scan. Each visit lasts about two hours. Participants must be right-handed & read/speak English fluently. Participants must not be pregnant, claustrophobic (afraid of small spaces), have metal that cannot be removed (including braces), or have any neurological or mental health illness (including ADHD). Qualified participants can earn $50 for completing both visits, plus up to an additional $30 for completing a later follow-up survey!

Post-Election fMRI Study:

If interested, email: smtashjian@ucla.edu | Call/Text: 904.547.0291


We are seeking young adults, ages 18-30, to participate in an fMRI study investigating how responses to the election influence the brain. Participants visit UCLA twice: At Visit 1, they fill out questionnaires and complete an fMRI brain scan. Visit 2 takes place 1 year later and is similar to Visit 1. Each visit lasts about 1.5 hours. Participants must be right-handed & read/speak English fluently, must not be pregnant, claustrophobic (afraid of small spaces), have metal that cannot be removed (including braces), or be taking any psychotropic medication (including antidepressants). Participants are wanted even if you do not have strong feelings about the election. Qualified participants will earn $25 for Visit 1 and $45 for Visit 2!

Writing and Arithmetic Study:

If interested, email: ucla.psr.study@gmail.com | Call/Text: 424.273.5494


We are seeking participants age 9-10 or 15-16, to participate in a behavioral study involving a writing task and a challenging math task. Participants visit UCLA for one 90 minute session that involves completing questionnaires about feelings and moods, and the collection of saliva samples and monitoring of physiological activity (heart rate, blood pressure) during a short writing exercise and math task. One parent/caregiver will also need to attend the session to fill out questionnaires asking about the child’s behavior and family background. Qualified participants will earn $30!