Science research wouldn’t be able to progress without the help of healthy and patient participants like you. The Neurocognitive Dynamics Laboratory Lab has three shielded experiment rooms on the campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Our lab sometimes performs research with pen and paper or a computer. These experiments typically last 30 minutes to an hour.

Our lab sometimes performs research with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Before we begin the research part, we will review safety forms, explain the session, and obtain your consent. Then we can scan your brain as you lie still in the scanner or play computerized games there. These experiments typically last one to three hours.

Our lab sometimes performs research with electroencephalography (EEG) nets like hair nets or swim caps. Before we begin the research part, we will review safety forms, explain the session, and obtain your consent. Then we can get started. It takes several minutes to apply the sensors properly, so you may watch TV or play games on your phone during that time. Then we’ll ask you to either lie or sit still in our testing room, and we’ll have you play computerized games there. These experiments typically last one to three hours.

Listed below are the research trials currently being conducted at the Neurocognitive Dynamics Laboratory. Unless otherwise noted, all of them are currently accepting participants.

Pediatric Head Models for Improved Imaging of Neurological Development

The purpose of this research study is to make models of the electrical properties of the brain and skull in babies and children.  The models we make will help doctors and research scientists get more accurate information from non-invasive imaging methods like electroencephalography (EEG) in healthy children and in children who may have disorders that affect the way their brain works.  Right now, EEG is widely used clinically in very specific brain problems like epilepsy and sleep disorders. By making better models of the heads and brains of children, we hope to make this technique even more useful by showing it can help with a wider range of problems. We need to find out whether our models can provide very accurate information on how the brain works, so in this study we will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as well as EEG. The fMRI uses a big magnet in which you lie down and look at pictures on a screen or tap your fingers while we take pictures of your brain at work. This tool will give us two ways of looking at how the brain works, and together they can prove that our head models have really improved the accuracy of EEG for looking at the brain at work in children. All participants who complete both the EEG and fMRI will be reimbursed $50 for their time.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Ages 8-17
  • No internal metals
  • No major medical conditions

This study is currently accepting participants. Please contact Aaron S. Kemp at ASKemp@uams.edu, or call (501) 526-8291 for more information.

Probing and Understanding the Brain: Micro and Macro Dynamics of Seizure and Memory Networks

The purpose of this research study is to help us better understand how the brain changes its activity before, during and after a seizure and how those changes affect the brain’s ability to create and recall memories. To accomplish that goal, we must obtain information both from individuals who suffer from epilepsy and individuals who have never had a seizure or brain injury. Forty (40) people 18 years or older undergoing evaluation for epilepsy surgery and 15 people 18 years or older who have never had a seizure or brain injury will take part in this study. To qualify for this study the participants with epilepsy must currently be in consideration for resective brain surgery here at UAMS. Eligible individuals with epilepsy who provide consent to participate will be asked to perform several memory tasks while wearing a cap to measure the electrical activity of their brain using electroencephalography (EEG). These EEG assessments of memory will be conducted on at least 3 separate occasions during the study: once before the surgery, once while on the epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU), and at least once several months after their surgery. For the healthy participants there will usually only be one study visit during which the memory tasks would be completed while wearing the cap to measure the electrical activity in the brain using EEG.  All participants who complete EEG assessments will be reimbursed $50 for each visit.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Age 18 or older
  • Patients with epilepsy must be in consideration for resective brain surgery at UAMS
  • Other participants must have no history of seizures or brain injury and no major medical conditions

This study is currently accepting participants. Please contact Aaron S. Kemp at ASKemp@uams.edu, or call (501) 526-8291 for more information.