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Protocol Details

Exploring the Relationship Between Brain Asymmetry and Attention

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18
Max Age: 35

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)

Non-English Speaking

Special Instructions

Currently Not Provided


TMS-Evoked Potential;
Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Normal Physiology

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Device: TMS EEG
Device: TMS fMRI

Supporting Site

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


People tend to pay more attention to one side of space than the other and this may be due to differences in the structure and function of the two sides of the brain. We are interested in whether we can detect those difference with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and electroencephalography (EEG).


The purpose of the study is to understand how differences in brain structure may cause people to pay more attention to one side than the other.


Healthy adults ages 18 35


Participants will be screened with a neurological exam.

Participants will have 2-3 visits for a total duration of about 7/8 hours.

Women of childbearing age must have a negative pregnancy test before each MRI scan.

Visits may include:

Physical exam

Tests of attention, and thinking

TMS. A brief electrical current will pass through a wire coil on the scalp. Participants will hear a click and may feel a pull. They may be asked to tense muscles or do tasks.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for a maximum of 1 hour. Participants will lie on a table that slides into a cylinder in a strong magnetic field. They will do tasks on a computer screen or lie still. They will get earplugs for loud noise.

EEG for no longer than 5 hours, with most lasting 3 hours. Gel and a cap with electrodes will be placed on the scalp. They will record brain waves while the participant gets TMS or does nothing.

Questions about participants dominant hand and about the MRI.

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-Age 18 and older

-Able to provide consent

For some sub-studies, we may limit participation by handedness or eye dominance.


-Any current major neurological or psychiatric disorder, such as, (but not limited to) stroke, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia or major depression

-Findings on neurological examination indicative of significant brain disease

-Individuals with significant health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, malignancy, or connective tissue disorder

-History of seizure, defined as a diagnosis by a health care provider of one or more epileptic seizures or an anecdotal history which, in the opinion of the PI, is suggestive of epileptic seizure. Any individual who answers other than negatively to the question, Have you ever had an epileptic seizure on screening will be questioned directly by the PI

-Current oral use of a medication that lowers the seizure threshold such as neuroleptics, beta lactams, isoniazid, metronidazole, tricyclic or other antidepressants, or prescription stimulants

-Individuals regularly taking medications that cause significant psychomotor activation or depression, e.g., stimulants and CNS depressant drugs such as benzodiazepines, will be excluded.

-For MRI studies: Any metal in the body which would make having an MRI scan unsafe, such as pacemakers, stimulators, pumps, aneurysm clips, metallic prostheses, artificial heart valves, cochlear implants or shrapnel fragments, any individual who was a welder or metal worker. Participants will also be excluded if they are uncomfortable in small closed spaces (i.e. claustrophobia) or are not able to lie comfortably on their back for up to two hours

-Pregnancy or plans to become pregnant in the next two months

-Members of the Behavioral Neurology Unit, NINDS

-Use of illegal drugs in the past year

-Consumption of more than 7 alcoholic drinks a week for females or 14 alcoholic drinks a week for males.

There is no general exclusion for NIH employees. Inclusion/exclusion criteria will be checked before enrollment in each sub-study to ensure that participants remain eligible.

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Not Provided

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Eric M. Wassermann, M.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Amelia G. Stapleton
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
BG 10 RM 7D48
(301) 435-6624

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: 1-866-411-1010

Clinical Trials Number:


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