Research Trials

Listed below are the research trials currently being conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute. Unless otherwise noted, all of them are currently accepting participants. See the respective contacts for each trial for more information.

Center for Health Services Research

Stress in Meth

The purpose of this study is to learn more about how people who use methamphetamine respond to stressful events, such as being in an emergency department (ED) setting. By doing this study, we also hope to find out whether certain tasks make a space at UAMS that looks like an ED seem more like an actual ED. Up to 20 methamphetamine-using participants between the ages of 21 and 55 years old will be part of this study. This is not a treatment study.

This study involves three 3-hour visits to UAMS, including an in-person screening session and two laboratory day sessions. At the first laboratory day session, participants will be asked to either respond to three different scenarios or to imagine the circumstances surrounding their most stressful visit to an emergency department. Participants will then be asked to complete a simple arithmetic task. At the second laboratory day session, participants will be asked to watch a nature video instead of completing a speaking task and an arithmetic task.

There is no cost to participate in this study and participants will be compensated for their time.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Ages 21-55
  • Have been previously inside an ED as either a patient or visitor
  • Recent history of methamphetamine use
  • Able to attend three 3-hour visits to UAMS

This study is currently accepting participants. For more information, e-mail Dr. Michael Wilson at or contact the DEMBER Lab at (501) 570-6362. All calls are confidential.

Brain Imaging Research Center

Prospection, Time and Addiction (PTA)

This project studies how addiction may change the way people think about themselves and their futures. Future-oriented thinking, or “prospection”, relies upon self-control processes that bias behavior away from impulsive and immediate reinforcers in favor of greater long-term reward. In addition to studying how addiction changes this cognitive process and its neural correlates in adult men and women, this study will also explore the development of prospective thinking among adolescents at risk for developing drug use disorders. The long-term goal of this project is to incorporate a science-based rationale for the development of prospection-related interventions to prevent and treat drug addictions.

Please contact Natalie Morris at or call (501) 420-2653 for more information.

Modeling sex-differences in trauma-related neural organization conferring resilience against addiction (RES)

The goal of this study is to understand why some people experience childhood trauma but do not develop an addiction. We are looking for adult men and women to participate in this study. Participants in this study will be asked to come to UAMS for two visits. On the first visit, we will ask questions about how the participant is currently feeling and his or her past childhood experiences. We will also give cognitive tests to the participant. This visit takes about 3 hours to complete. The participant will return for a second visit to complete the MRI scan, which will take about 1 ½ hours to complete. During the MRI scan, we will ask the participant to perform more cognitive tasks.  Participants will be compensated for their time.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Ages 18-40
  • With or without a history of childhood trauma
  • No internal metals
  • No major medical conditions

This study is currently accepting participants. Please contact Natalie Morris at or call (501) 420-2653 for more information.