Research Screening

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What we do:
Dr. Ursula Bellugi and her colleagues are conducting studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and other sources to find out more about brain development and its relationship to the development of language, thinking, and social behavior. Many of these studies are conducted with children and adults who have developmental conditions such as Williams syndrome and Down syndrome, in addition to persons without such conditions. Participants across all groups range in age from infancy to adolescence and adulthood.  You have been asked to participate because we are interested in your thinking and problem solving abilities, and how those abilities might be different or similar to other groups of participants.  Your participation in these studies is completely voluntary.

Description of studies you could take part in:

  1. Cognitive and social functioning is assessed through standardized and experimental tasks on:  language, visual-spatial functioning, memory, emotion perception & behavior, and self-report questionnaires. This involves some paper and pencil questions (drawing), verbal question and answer, as well as looking at a computer screen and pushing buttons.
  2. Brain wave recording  (ERP recordings allow us to observe brain activity) A cap is placed on an individual's head that is made up of several tiny sponges.  This allows us to see response timing in different brain areas while the participant views pictures on a computer screen and pushes response buttons (i.e. handheld button press).
  3. Psychophysiological monitoring observes responses from the skin and heartbeat in order to investigate the electrophysiological responses during face and language processing. We simply use stickers that attach to a participant's fingers, arm, and ankles to monitor heart rate and skin conductance while the participant views pictures of faces on a screen.


  1. these studies run Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm
  2. the studies last 3 to 4 hours total
  3. participation requires two separate visits


$10 per hour, in cash after each session


There are no known risks associated with participation in these studies.  You may feel tired or mildly frustrated during the sessions because some of the tests are designed to show strengths and weaknesses.   These feelings should disappear when you take a break or at the end of the testing session, and we will endeavor to make you comfortable.


If you have any questions please call Kiley at 1.800.434.1038
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