Stanford Brain Development Project


The Stanford Brain Development Project seeks to understand how changes in the brain are related to changing cognitive abilities in children as they develop. Our projects have two primary objectives:

  1. To understand how math skills develop and are represented in the brain, in order to indentify how children with math learning disabilities can be helped.
  2. To understand how cognitive, language, math, and social abilities are represented in the brain in children with autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

We invite your participation in our ongoing research projects and thank you for your interest. Your participation helps us to discover the brain basis of abilities and disabilities, and is important for conducting the basic research that will eventually contribute to the development of more effective treatments and therapies for young children with developmental disorders. If you'd like to learn more about our lab, you can check out our main site here.

Actively Recruiting Studies

Seeking children and adolescents ages 5-14 with math learning disabilities or who are typically developing

The goal of this research project is to investigate how children learn math and how the brain basis underlying mathematical abilities changes over time.

Participants should be:

  1. Right handed
  2. Between the ages of 5 and 14
  3. Without braces

Participants receive:

  1. Up to $350 for completing the study
  2. Pictures of their brain for each year of participation
  3. A Stanford Brain Development t-shirt

The study consists of 3 inital appointments followed by 1-year and 2-year follow-up appointments. Each year of participation includes the following appointments:

Appointments 1 and 2: Neuropsychological testing 
During the first two appointments your child will undergo a series of neuropsychological assessments performed by Stanford assessors. The assessments include measures of IQ, reading, memory and math abilities. These appointments will last 1.5 to 2 hours each.

Participants are compensated $25 for completing each of these 2 neuropsychological appointments, for a total of $50.

Appointment 3: MRI scan
During the third appointment, participants will undergo a brain scan (MRI). During the scan, participants will play  computer-based math and memory games while pictures of their brain are taken. An MRI scan is a safe, non-invasive procedure that does not use x-rays or radiation. This appointment lasts 2.5 hours to 3 hours and participants are compensated $50.

Years 2 and 3 Follow-Ups:
Participants return to repeat appointments 1-3 one-year and two-years after their initial visit. Compensation is equal to that of the initial appointments, with a total of $300 possible over the 3-year period.

For full completion of the study, participants are compensated an additional $50, for a total of $350.

Questions? See our FAQs or get in touch.