Active Studies


Paid research on hormones, depression, and the brain

Have you been feeling sad, blue, or down? Have you lost interest in activities you normally enjoy? McLean Hospital researchers seek volunteers to understand the role of hormones and GABA, a molecule in the brain, in stress and emotions. The study includes two sessions. If eligible to participate, you can receive up to $400.

We are seeking right-handed individuals, 18-25 years old, with no past psychiatric or neurological illness other than depression to participate in 2 study sessions, for a total of up to 9.5 hours. Individuals who are currently taking psychotropic medications will not be eligible. During the study you will be interviewed by a psychologist, have an MRI exam, provide blood and saliva samples, play a computer game, and fill out questionnaires.

If you are interested in participating, please complete our online survey.

If you would rather speak on the phone, you can email Sarah at neurolab@mclean.harvard.edu. Please include your phone number and some good times to reach you, and researchers will contact you to conduct a preliminary phone screen and to provide more information about the study.


Understanding the brain during cognitive tasks

Researchers at McLean Hospital are seeking participants for a research study examining brain responses during cognitive tasks. We are seeking right-handed individuals, 18-45 years old, with no history of psychiatric or neurological illnesses. This research study involves one appointment of up to 4 hours. We seek to develop and optimize computer-based tasks to measure reward learning and cognition. Each participant will be asked to come for a single visit to complete a brief psychological assessment (interview and surveys), provide a saliva sample, and then perform up to two of the computer-based tasks while EEG data are collected.

You will receive up to $85 for task performance.

If you are interested in participating, please complete our online survey. If you would rather speak on the phone, please send your phone number and some good times to reach you to neurolab@mclean.harvard.edu. Thanks!


Avoiding adolescent depression

Researchers at McLean Hospital are investigating factors that put young individuals at risk for developing depression. By participating, you and your child can help them better understand, prevent, and treat adolescent depression. If you have a child between the ages of 12 — 18 who experiences less pleasure or interest in the things they used to enjoy, you may qualify to participate in this research study. Your child can earn up to $300.

For more information, please contact Elana at (617) 855-4195 or via email at eisrael@mclean.harvard.edu.


Free depression treatment for adolescents

Is your child feeling depressed, or experiencing a loss of pleasure in activities they once enjoyed? Your child may be eligible to receive free therapy for 12 weeks and earn up $330.40 as part of this study on mood and brain activity, being conducted by researchers at McLean Hospital.

For more information, please contact Elana at (617) 855-4195 or via email at eisrael@mclean.harvard.edu.


The effects of stress on learning

Researchers at McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital are studying the effect of stress on learning, in adults with current or past depression. We are interested in learning how the brain processes rewards differently by using different brain imaging techniques.

You will be asked to complete up to 5 visits at various timepoints. These may include a clinical interview, surveys, computer games, and brain scans (MRI and PET).

Study activities may include:

  • an MRI scan
  • a PET scan
  • Blood draws
  • Surveys

For your participation, you can earn up to $781.20. We may be able to provide transportation to and from each visit.

If you are interested in participating, please complete our online survey. If you would rather speak on the phone, please send your phone number and some good times to reach you to neurolab@mclean.harvard.edu. Thanks!


Healthy adults too!

Every research study needs a comparison group. Are you between the ages of 18-45, right-handed, with no history of psychiatric or neurological illness? Would you like to earn up to $300 or more? Researchers in the Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research at McLean Hospital are looking for healthy adults to participate in research, examining rewards and the brain.

If you want to participate in a research study, please complete our online survey. Or you can send email to neurolab@mclean.harvard.edu, let us know your phone number and a good time to call you back. Thanks!