Volunteer

Take part in brain imaging research!

We invite you to take part in a study on uncertainty about forthcoming pain  at the University of Cambridge Computational and Biological Learning Laboratory (Department of Engineering, Trumpington St) and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (Cambridge Biomedical Campus).

What does the study involve?

The study involves working on computer-based tasks, where you will receive sequences of painful electrical stimulation to a body part and you will be ask questions about the stimuli (for example: how painful they are, what will the next stimulus be). We will record your responses, as well as other body measures such as change in your heart rate, respiration and skin sweating while you do the task. You will also be asked to fill out some questionnaires about your experience of medical symptoms, your mood and emotions. The electrical stimulation is completely harmless, with no long-lasting effects. You will set the level of this stimulation yourself at the start of the study to a point where you describe it painful but not unbearable. We will be able to end the experiment at any point if you become uncomfortable.

Some participants will be invited to take part in up to 5 testing sessions on consecutive days. In 2-3 sessions, you will do the same task inside an MRI scanner at the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre. An MRI scanner is like an x-ray machine for looking inside your body or brain, that does not use X-rays or other harmful ionising radiation but instead uses a powerful magnet. Therefore, it is painless and safe, as long as you don’t have any metal inside your body and are not pregnant. As the scan involves lying in an enclosed space, this may not be suitable for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia.

Time and reimbursement

Compensation will be £10 per hour for behavioural sessions, and £20 per hour for MRI sessions. (Please note that we are unable to reimburse travel expenses). Sessions will last around an hour and a half. Please expect the total payment to range between £90-120, depending on the duration of the study.   I am eligible for this study? In order to take part in this experiment, you need to be: – aged 18-65 years old – right-handed – have normal corrected-to-normal vision (contact lenses or glasses are fine) – have no history of neurological, mental (psychological) or cardiac (heart-related) illness, or be currently using pain relief medication – willing and able to undergo an MRI scan (no history of major surgery, and no non-removable metal in your body, no pregnancy: if you have any questions about this please ask).

What do I have to do to take part?

A copy of the information sheet can be viewed here: https://goo.gl/TLwopa

If you meet all the requirements above and are interested in taking part, please contact Dr Flavia Mancini for further details: painlab-study@eng.cam.ac.uk Ref: uncertainty

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the study (Tel: 01223 762456).

This study has been approved by the University of Cambridge Psychology Research Ethics Committee.