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University of Wisconsin–Madison

MRI Study for Men and Women With and Without PTSD (COMP Study)

General information

We are investigating models of memory and decision making among those with PTSD. To explore these mechanisms of thinking and behavior, we will use a few different learning tasks during brain scanning in an MRI. This research aims to increase our knowledge of the biological and behavioral mechanisms underlying PTSD and anxiety disorders that could lead to better detection, diagnosis, and treatments for clinically affected individuals.

Who can participate?

You may be eligible for participation if you are between the ages of 21-50 years old. Additional criteria:

  1. Have or have not experienced interpersonal violence 
  2. May experience symptoms of PTSD or anxiety disorders, or not, 
  3. Are free of internal or non-removable metal, 
  4. Are able to understand and speak English.

You may NOT participate if you have a history of: brain damage, seizures, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or other developmental delays, have a serious and unstable medical condition, MRI contraindication (e.g., magnetic metallic objects, claustrophobia) or if you are currently pregnant.

What would my participation involve?

Participation in this study involves 4 total visits. One visit will be conducted remotely, and 3 visits will take place at the Department of Psychiatry at UW-Madison. The remote visit will include a confidential interview over video with a trained interviewer and questionnaires assessing current and past psychological functioning and any history of traumatic events you might have experienced. 

The remaining visits will involve 3 different tasks: a decision making task, a facial emotion task, and a learning task, most of which will take place in the MRI scanner and involve electro-tactile stimulation. Each of the in-person visits will last roughly 3 hours.

Participants can earn up to $340 over multiple visits for involvement in this study.

Please email cislerlab@psychiatry.wisc.edu if you are interested in participating!