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Current Studies in Humans

Epigenetics and Social Behavior Throughout the Lifespan

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We are seeking expecting or new mothers of infants aged 5–31 days to participate in an at-home research study. The purpose of the research study is to learn how early language exposure and touch may be related to biological changes in mothers and their infants.

The study involves wearing arm and ankle-bands to passively track proximity and vocalizations between mother-infant pairs in their own home, providing weekly saliva samples for DNA analyses, and may involve reading sessions. This is a longitudinal study lasting 12 weeks. All procedures will be conducted by the mother in her own home. There are no lab visits.

Compensation for study completion is either $240 or $600, depending on group assignment. For more information please contact:

The Nature & Nurture Study Team

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We are looking for Caucasian children between the ages of 5 and 11 years of age to participate in a study focused on determining the impact of genes on the development of the brain and social behavior. Participation in this study consists of two visits each lasting approximately an hour and a half and you will be compensated $50 for your time at each visit.

Participation in this study involves collection of a saliva sample, a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan lasting approximately 45 minutes, and some behavioral tasks in which we will ask for your child to report on what they think others might be feeling or thinking. MRIs have no long-term health risks and no radiation exposure.  To help your child feel more comfortable in the scanner environment, we practice lying in a mock scanner at the first visit to make them more familiar with the process. We will also ask that you fill out a set of questionnaires on your child’s behavior that can be completed either during the visit or at home at your convenience.

If you are interested in having your child participate, please call (434) 924-0658 or email

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