About our research

Frequent Questions

Who can participate?

We invite children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to participate in research. You can view a list of research studies by clicking here. New studies begin frequently, so check back often!

What is it like to participate?

Each study is a little different. There are two main kinds of studies: brain imaging and behavioral studies.  During imaging studies, researchers take pictures of your brain. In other studies, researchers are interested in your behavior.  You may answer questions, solve puzzles, or play computer games. Read more about the different kinds of studies using the links below. 

         

Research studies take place inside Building 46 at MIT. Our building is also home to the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, the Picower Center for Learning and Memory, and the Simons Center for the Social Brain. 

Before you begin any research study, you will read and sign a consent form. The consent form is an official way of saying, “Yes, I want to try this.” If you have questions at any time, you can ask. 

How do I start?

If you haven’t already, complete the Sign Up form. The next step is a visit to MIT for some behavioral testing, including some simple games and questions regarding your development and current life. This first visit to MIT typically takes 1 hour, and you will be compensated $20 for your time. After the first visit, we will identify which studies are a good fit for you.  You can choose how often you want to hear about opportunities to participate. 

What do I get for participating?

Participants receive cash, a check, or a gift card when they finish a study. Payment varies, but averages around $25 per hour.  You can also visit the MIT museum and attend events on campus while you are here. Most importantly, by participating in research at MIT, you will help scientists to understand important brain differences in autism.