University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Motor Interpersonal Neuroimaging Developmental Study

What is this study about?

The goal of this USC study is to look at brain functioning and how it relates to coordination and social skills in developing children. We hope to better understand children’s social and motor abilities using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using this safe brain imaging technique, we can take pictures of children’s brains while they observe, think about, and do different motor tasks.

What will happen during the study?

  • You and your child will both fill out a set of questionnaires.
  • Your child will be asked to complete short cognitive and coordination tasks.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be used to take pictures of your child's brain while he/she performs a task.
  • Your child will be able to watch a video of his/her choice during portions of the MRI.
  • This study involves 8-10 hours of participation split across 2 separate visits. Each visit will last anywhere from 4 to 5 hours. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

Who can sign up?

You may qualify if:

  • Your child is typically developing OR has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder OR has motor coordination difficulties.
  • You and your child are English-speaking.
  • Your child is 8-17 years old.
  • Your child is right-handed.

Where will this study take place?

Contact us | Facebook
Phone: (424) 888-2KID

Study ID: IRB #UP-14-00093
USC Office for the Protection of Research Subjects

Interested in participating?

We won't share your personal information or contact details with anyone else and you can ask us to update/delete them at any time. (You can read our general Privacy Policy here.)




Are you and your child both English-speaking?

Is your child 8-17 years old?

Is your child right-handed?

Does your child struggle with handwriting?

Does your child struggle with some sports?

Would you describe your child as clumsier than most children?

Does your child bump into things?

How can we best contact you?

How did you find out about our study? (Check all that apply)

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What are the benefits of participating?

  • While there will be no direct personal advantages from participation in this study, by becoming involved in this project you will be contributing to the advancement of scientific research in the field of brain development and coordination disorders.
  • In partial compensation for your time and effort, each child will receive $150, with the option of earning an additional $50 for participating in the biogenetic portion of the study.
  • Each participant also receives pictures of his/her brain.
MRI scan

Is it safe?

  • All procedures performed during the study are safe and have no known harmful effects.
  • The procedures are noninvasive and painless.
  • MRI does not involve exposure to radiation.
  • Information as well as the results of all testing will be kept strictly confidential.

What does it feel like inside the MRI scanner?

  • Children are positioned comfortably on a bed that slides into the MRI.
  • They'll use goggles and headphones to watch their favorite video during part of the time they're in the scanner.
  • An intercom allows your child and researcher to speak to each other at all times.
  • MRI does not use x-rays, and there are no known harmful effects of the procedure.