Research Opportunity for School-Age Children, Ages 8-13 Years at Emory University

The Marcus Autism Center is recruiting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing children, ages 8 to 13 years, for a brain imaging study to help us learn more about how the brain functions, especially when processing social interactions. Our mock magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner training protocol is specially designed to improve the representation of children with ASD in MRI research, especially those with severe symptoms. In doing so, the goal of our protocol is to incorporate behavior training as a component of the mock MRI scanner to familiarize participants with the necessary skills to successfully complete an MRI scan.

If your child qualifies, and you choose to join the study, your child will participate for approximately two to seven study visits. The researchers will ask your child to participate in the following: attend MRI training through a mock scanner (one to five visits depending on ability to remain still and not move), complete an MRI scan, and complete clinical assessments and questionnaires.

Participants will take part in:

  • The MRI training on a mock scanner will last approximately 1 hour (the number of training sessions involved will vary depending on each child’s needs)
  • The MRI scan visit will last approximately 1.5 hours
    • During the scan, we will ask your child to watch video clips while wearing eye-tracking equipment and to remain motionless as the research team takes pictures of your child’s brain
  • Clinical assessment and questionnaire visit that will take 1.5-4 hours to complete

Participants will receive compensation of:

  • $25 per MRI training session(s)
  • $50 per MRI scan
  • $50 for a clinical assessment visit
  • A souvenir picture of your child’s brain
  • Report from the clinical assessments (optional)

If you think you or your child might be interested in participating, please contact research coordinator, Sydney Messer at or (404) 785-3932 for more details. Families can also access survey through scanned QR code on attached research flyer.