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Protocol Details

Top-Down Attentional Control of Visual-Processing

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18 Years
Max Age: 100 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)

Non-English Speaking


Visual Attention;
Visual Cortex;
Focal Lesions;
Neurological Disorder;
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI);
Natural History

Recruitment Keyword(s)

Neurological Disorder;
Focal Brain Lesion;
Healthy Volunteer;


Focal Brain Lesion;
Focal Lesions;

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)




Supporting Site

National Institute of Mental Health


- Previous studies have shown that people with certain types of brain damage may have particular problems paying attention and processing things that they see. Researchers are interested in comparing how people with brain damage and without brain damage process visual images.


- To better understand the areas of the brain involved in paying attention to things that are seen.


- Individuals at least 18 years of age who either have had damage to one or both sides of specific parts of the brain (e.g., stroke, injury, certain neurosurgery procedures) or are healthy volunteers.


- The study involves 4 to 10 visits to the NIH Clinical Center over 1 to 2 years. Each visit will last approximately 2 hours.

- Participants will be screened with a medical history and physical examination, and may have the cognitive testing described below during the same visit.

- On the first visit and for at least one visit thereafter, participants will have cognitive testing to evaluate thinking and memory. These tests will be either written tests or computer-based tests.

- Some participants will qualify for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as part of the study. This part will involve a decision-making task that will be performed on a computer during the fMRI scan. Additional scans may be required as directed by the study doctors.

- Some randomly selected participants will be asked to have magnetoencephalography (MEG), a procedure to record very small magnetic field changes produced by brain activity.

- During the behavioral training, or fMRI or MEG scanning, participants may be monitored with equipment to track eye movements.

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All Subjects

1. All subjects will be 18 years of age or older and have at least a high school education.

2. Capacity to provide their own informed consent, understand and cooperate with study procedures.

3. Able to read and write in English to guarantee understanding of all written and spoken instructions, which are in English.


1. Unilateral or bilateral focal lesions of prefrontal, parietal, occipital or temporal cortex, or amygdala.

2. At least three months post-stroke, lobectomy and or neurosurgical resection.

Healthy volunteers:

1. Neurologically normal and in good general health.



1. Any neurological or psychiatric disorder not related to the focal lesion (e.g., epilepsy, schizophrenia, etc.). Epilepsy patients who have undergone surgery and as a result are seizure free may be recruited.

2. Previous head injury.

3. Present or past (within past 6 months) drug or alcohol abuse or addiction as determined by a qualified study neurologist/psychiatrist.

4. Radiation treatment to the brain during a three-month period prior to the experiment.

5. NIMH staff and their immediate family are excluded from participation.

Healthy Volunteers:

1. Any neurological or psychiatric disorder (e.g., epilepsy, schizophrenia, etc.)

2. Previous head injury.

3. Present or past (within past 6 months) drug or alcohol abuse or addiction based on DSM-5 criteria as determined during History and Physical exam.

4. NIMH staff and their immediate family are excluded from participation.


Patients and Healthy volunteers:

1. Women who are pregnant and women of child-bearing potential who refuse to undergo a urine pregnancy test will be excluded from fMRI experiments.

2. Subjects who have contraindications to MRI scanning will be excluded from fMRI experiments but included in cognitive experiments. These contraindications include:

a) central nervous system aneurysm clips;

b) implanted neural stimulator;

c) implanted cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator;

d) cochlear implant;

e) ocular foreign body (e.g., metal shavings);

f) insulin pump;

g) metal shrapnel or bullet;

h) any implanted device that is incompatible with MRI.

3. Conditions that preclude scanning, e.g., morbid obesity, claustrophobia.


Patients and Healthy volunteers:

Subjects who are determined during screening or history and physical exam to be color-blind will be excluded from participating in certain tasks that involve color discrimination.

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Bandettini PA, Wong EC, Hinks RS, Tikofsky RS, Hyde JS. Time course EPI of human brain function during task activation. Magn Reson Med. 1992 Jun;25(2):390-7.

Belliveau JW, Kennedy DN Jr, McKinstry RC, Buchbinder BR, Weisskoff RM, Cohen MS, Vevea JM, Brady TJ, Rosen BR. Functional mapping of the human visual cortex by magnetic resonance imaging. Science. 1991 Nov 1;254(5032):716-9.

Fox PT, Raichle ME, Mintun MA, Dence C. Nonoxidative glucose consumption during focal physiologic neural activity. Science. 1988 Jul 22;241(4864):462-4.

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Shruti Japee, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institutes of Health
Building 10
Room 4C101
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(301) 402-3682

NIMH LBC Volunteer
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
NIMH Lab of Brain and Cognition
(301) 827-5157

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


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