What happens if you take part?
Find out more or volunteer
What happens if you take part
We run different types of study, and different people may be invited to different studies.
Brain scanning research
New research is now looking at the brains of people with autism. This research uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to take pictures of the brain. These studies take place in the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Imaging Centre which is part of the University of Nottingham.
These studies are for adults (age 18-45) with autistic spectrum disorders or Asperger's syndrome. The project involves some inital testing in the School of Psychology, and then a brain scan. For the brain scan, you must lie still inside a large magnet which uses radio waves and magnetic fields to take pictures of your brain. During the scan, you will watch some simple videos of actions, so we can see how your brain responds to these images. Volunteers who complete a brain scan may recieve a printed picture of their brain to take home. If you would like more information about brain scanning research, please, download the information poster or contact Lauren Marsh
This picture shows a person lying down and ready to enter the MRI scanner for a brain scan
Research in Schools
For some research projects, we visit children with autism in their schools. First, parents are contacted by mail and given detailed information about the study. If the parents and child agree to take part, we liase with teachers and parents to find a convenient testing time. Then a researcher will visit the school.
A child will be invited to a quiet room in the school and will complete a variety of tasks and games with the researcher. These games may involve looking at pictures, copying actions, reading stories or similar activities as appropriate to the age and abilities of the child.
This picture shows a child taking part in a simple imitation task at his school
Research in the University
For some projects, children or adults may be invited to visit the School of Psychology at the University of Nottigham. If you come to the School of Psychology, a researcher will meet you and explain what the project involves. It could include looking at pictures, reading stories, simple games (for children) or an interview (for adults). Many projects involve computerised tasks where you read sentences or look at pictures on a computer and press a button to indicate what you saw.
For some projects, we use track a person's eyes to see exactly how they look at pictures and movies. For other projects, we may use video or other technologies to record a person's movements precisely. These research methods allow us to examine subtle features of human behaviour which may not be visible to the naked eye.
The picture on the right shows a person taking part in an eye tracking experiment.
If you are invited to take part in a research project at the university, you will be sent detailed information about your project, so that you can decide if you want to take part.
These pages are created and mainted by the Nottingham Autism Research Team, University
of Nottingham, UK