Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

University of Maryland, College Park
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Your Visit

Our Social Connection study involves more than one visit. We may ask you and your child to participate in both behavioral and MRI sessions. We usually ask you and your child to do each session on a different day, so that we do not tire your child out!

Behavioral Session

1. Our behavioral session is conducted in our lab space in the Biology-Psychology Building on UMD's campus. Prior to your visit, we will send you directions to the lab and where to park! This session can be scheduled as one 5-hour session, or two 2.5-hour sessions, the second of which can be online.

2. At the start of the behavioral session, you will learn more about the study your child will be participating in, while your child gets to know the researcher who will be conducting the study. We will review the timeline of your future visits with us and answer any questions you or your child may have.

3. Once we go over the session’s itinerary and we answer any questions you may have, the researcher will begin the session with your child. You can use this time to independently complete our parent survey, which will ask question about your child's development and behaviors.

 a. As part of the study, your child may be asked to play games and listen to stories with the researcher and to answer questions asked by the researcher.

MRI Session

1. First, you'll drive to the Maryland Neuroimagng Center (MNC). You may park anywhere in the “visitor” section of the parking lot, free of charge. A researcher of ours will be waiting to greet you outside of the MNC. The MRI session will take about 3 hours, but your child will only be in the scanner for a little over an hour.

2. For a more in-depth look at what your child will be doing during our MRI session, choose an option from the right sidebar. These resources are for all ages and made for you and your child to look at together!

   COVID-19: Our research team and the staff at the MNC take COVID-19 precautions very seriously. Precautions such as mask-wearing, social distancing when possible, and disinfecting take place at all participant visits. If you have any questions about these safety precautions, please do not hesitate to email us at marylandbrainstudy@umd.edu

Text Message Surveys & Heart Rate Band

1. At the end of your child's MRI session, we will enroll them in a text message program that sends them 5-6 survey links/day via text message. These surveys each take less than 5 minutes to complete and will ask your chid about their recent social interactions.

2. If your child does not have a phone that allows for text messages and online survey links, we can provide them with one for the duration of the study!

3. If you and your child are interested in trying the heart rate portion of the study, we will provide you with a heart rate monitor and band to pair to your phone and record some heart rate data on the days you are completing surveys.

Partner Visit

1. 1-3 months after your child's behavioral and MRI sessions, we will follow-up with you to schedule your child's partner visit. This visit takes place in our lab space in the Biology-Psychology Building, where your child will be paired with another participant in our study and will complete a task and watch videos while wearing eye-tracking glasses.

Follow-Up Timepoints

1. Following these in-person sessions, we will ask your child to participate in follow-up timepoints every 4 months for the next 20 months. These follow-ups include the text message surveys as well as online child and parent questionnaires. These timepoints do not require any in-person visits to UMD!