The Roanoke Brain Study

Putting our heads together to make a difference

What is The Roanoke Brain Study?

The Roanoke Brain Study (RBS) is part of a large-scale research endeavor based at the new Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke, VA. Leading neuroscientists across a broad range of expertise are conducting research on multiple aspects of neurobiology, cognition, and behavior.

The Roanoke Brain Study is a longitudinal research project designed to study the types of decisions that people make every day using a combination of neuroimaging, genetics and behavior.

Our goal is to engage volunteers across the greater Roanoke Valley to participate in a series of tasks designed to better understand decisions that lead to healthier lives.

The primary task will be an fMRI scan, a non-invasive imaging tool that allows us to capture images of the brain and its activity while volunteers view images, play games, or interact with other people. Volunteers may also be asked to provide a small sample of DNA, fill out questionnaires, play simple games on the computer, or interact with other people inside or outside the MRI scanner.

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Our mission

The Roanoke Brain Study is a research endeavor dedicated to building a partnership between the greater Roanoke Valley community and leading scientists to explore the cognitive, behavioral, and genetic factors that affect human decision-making. The study combines novel approaches in functional brain imaging, computational psychiatry, and genetics to study features of decision behavior and how those behaviors change in people over the course of their lives. The aim is to create a global information resource for scientists, physicians, patients, and policy makers seeking insight into processes of decision-making to facilitate healthier lives.

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Highlights of The Roanoke Brain Study

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Further research (side projects)

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How to get involved

In order for the study to be successful, we will need thousands of healthy volunteers!

In phase 1, we will be recruiting healthy volunteers ages 18-85 to visit the lab every 1-2 years throughout the study. We are particularly interested in how decision-making behavior changes over the lifespan, so ideally subjects would be willing and able to participate for several years.

The first visit will take approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete. Subjects will visit the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory (HNL) headquarters in Roanoke, VA or the main Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA to register, determine eligibility, and participate in behavioral evaluation, fMRI and we may collect a saliva sample for genetic analysis.

If you are interested in learning more about the study or if you want to volunteer, please sign-up on online.

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