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What to Expect

Welcome! A BRAVE research team member will greet you in the clinic waiting room when you arrive. They will show you to an interview room, where you and your caregiver will hear more about the study visits and meet other members of our lab who will be working with you throughout your visit. We will answer your questions and make sure you feel comfortable.

If this is your first visit,

we will then take some time getting to know you and your caregiver better. We will split into two nearby rooms and ask you both a lot of questions about your thoughts, feelings and behavior.

The testing room is our main data collection hub. Here you will complete computer tasks while we collect information about what is going on in your body using sensors connected to a computer. We are interested in things like your heart rate, breathing, sweat levels, and muscle movement.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a way to take pictures of the structure of your brain and measure your brain activity. It is a noninvasive and low risk technique. The mock MRI simulator looks like a real MRI machine but does not have a magnetic field. We use the simulator to practice what being in a real scanner is like and teach you games you may play in the real scanner.

When it is time for your scan,

we will take you to the MRI suite and introduce you to the technicians who operate the machine from the control room. Together we will set you up in the scanner so that you are lying down in a comfortable way; we will communicate with you throughout the scan over an intercom. During some scans you will play the computer games, and during others you may be asked to gaze at a cross on the screen or watch a movie. At the same time we will be collecting other information about what is going on in your body, such as your heart rate and breathing.

On some visits, we will ask for biological samples. We may ask for small amounts of saliva (spit), urine (pee), and hair. Sometimes we send home a fecal (poop) kit that you use for home collection. These samples are analyzed in a laboratory and give us important information about different processes in your body.