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What is Neuropsychological Testing?

Neuropsychological testing is comprised of a battery of tests that look at a variety of cognitive functioning skills, including  learning and memory, attention and executive functions, visual-spatial reasoning, language-functioning, and sensorimotor development. Different tasks include puzzles, computer games, and tests of reading, math, achievement and memory. This can take about 2 hours, though we will stop testing immediately upon request. 


What is MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures of the brain. Before beginning, a member of our research team will explain the MRI procedure in detail and will be present throughout the  duration of the scan. MRI scanning requires that a person remain very still during the time that the pictures are taken while they lie on a padded table that moves into a tube-shaped magnet. They are unlikely to feel any discomfort, although the magnet is noisy during the scan, usually sounding like a loud knocking or buzzing. This is the magnet taking the pictures. Headphones and ear plugs will be provided to help block out most of the sound. The scan can be stopped at any time, and if there is ever any question of safety inside the scanner, they will be removed immediately. The MRI is being collected for research purposes only, and therefore cannot be used for clinical purposes. However, each MRI will be reviewed by a radiologist within one month of the scan, and if any significant abnormalities appear, they will be shared with you and your physician and a referral will be made.

















Will I be compensated for my time?


There is no cost for any of the procedures that are part of our research, including the MRI scan, the clinical interviews and the neuropsychological tests. Monetary compensation is provided after completion of the study, as well as a picture taken by the MRI as a keepsake. We also provide  a brief report of the neuropsychological testing; however, this report does not substitute for a full neuropsychological assessment that may be required for early intervention services.

Will my information be kept private?


All records will be available to research staff, and to Federal, State and Institutional regulatory personnel (who may review records as part of routine audits). All records will be stored in locked files and will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. There are legal advocacy organizations that have the authority under State law to access otherwise confidential subject records, though these organizations cannot re-disclose this information without participants' consent. In scientific reports of our research, no names, psychiatric diagnoses, or any other identifying information will be used or reported. Personal identifying information will be stored in an electronically secure database at New York State Psychiatric Institute. De-identified data may be shared with other researchers at this institution, New York State Psychiatric Institute, or other outside institutions.


What are the risks of MRI?

Some people have reported sensations during the MRI scan, such as "tingling" or "twitching," which are caused by changes in the magnetic field that can stimulate nerves in the body. Occasionally, some people become nervous or claustrophobic because the scanner space is small. Despite these instances, in our experience no one has had sensations from the scanning that did not stop when the scanning stopped. We are not aware of any other potentially dangerous interactions or hazards associated with the MRI scan except for pacemakers, some types of metallic implants, and medication patches. The MRI scan is not painful, but having to lie still in an enclosed space can be uncomfortable for some people.

Click here to see what it's like to get an MRI

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