Information for participants and parents

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Information for participants and parents


The LABS project is a longitudinal study that tracks adolescent brain development over a five-year period. Our goal is to better understand the adolescent brain, and to use this knowledge to improve youth mental health.

To achieve this goal, we need young people in our community to participate in the project.

Participant eligibility

Need to be clear here about eligibility, recruitment, exclusions (need to speak English, need to be able to have an MRI?)

For more information about eligibility visit our Frequently asked questions.

Project duration

To track adolescent brain development, we need to follow the same participants over five years. This means that to participate, you need to be able to commit to being part of the project on an ongoing basis throughout your high school years.

While this is a significant commitment, your participation will directly contribute to our understanding of the human brain. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a world-first research project and help improve mental health outcomes for young people.

What the project involves

As a participant, you will complete an assessment three times per year (eg every four months). This means a total of 15 assessments over a five-year period.

Each assessment includes a block of neurocognitive activities, two brain scans, and a debrief session. These are completed on the same day.

Neurocognitive activities

These activities include:

  • a survey you complete yourself
  • a cognitive assessment
  • a face-to-face interview

Brain scans

During each assessment, you will undergo two brain scans:

  • a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • an electroencephalogram (EEG) assessment

These are common neurological assessments used in clinics and hospitals every day. MRI and EEG scans are safe and should not cause distress or discomfort. You will be shown the MRI scanner and EEG lab before your assessment, so you will have the opportunity to see how the technology works and ask questions.

For more detailed information visit Brain scan FAQs.

Project results

As a participant, you will receive a newsletter every two months keeping you up to date on the project. When the project is completed, you will receive a summary of the research findings.

Privacy and confidentiality

By participating in the LABS project, you give consent for your assessment results (called ‘data’) to be used in this project and related future projects. You and your parent or guardian will sign a consent form at the beginning of your participation.

Only non-identifiable data is used. Non-identifiable data is data that has had all personal details removed (so there is no way to link you to the data). Any identifiable information you provide will remain confidential, and will not be disclosed without your permission.

You will not be named in any reports or publications resulting from the research project. Any publications based on the research project will include only pooled results from all the participants, so your results will not be singled out.

The information you give will be held in a secure location for seven (7) years after any reports or publications are published, after which any identifying information will be destroyed.

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