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Protocol Details

Study of Volition: Behavioral analysis and Clinical Neurophysiological Analysis

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: 25 Years
Max Age: 45 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)

Non-English Speaking


Healthy Volunteers

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Normal Physiology

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Device: EMG
Device: EEG

Supporting Site

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


'Free will' can be defined as the belief that people have control over their thoughts and movements. The topic of free will is controversial and is still being debated. Science has only partial answers to questions about free will, so researchers want to learn more about it. They want to assess the role of consciousness when intentions are present with behavior. This could help to explain the causal role of consciousness in movement or decisions.


To learn more about free will.


Healthy, right-handed adults ages 25-45


Participants will be screened with medical history, physical exam, and neurological exam.

Participants will have 1 study visit. It will last up to 4 hours.

Participants will sit in a comfortable chair in front of a screen. They will perform some or all of the following tasks.

Visual Task. Participants will watch different stimuli on the screen and answer simple questions.

Electroencephalography (EEG). An EEG records the electrical activity of the brain ('brain waves'). For the EEG, small electrodes are put on the scalp with an electrode cap. A gel is placed in the space between the electrodes and the scalp. Participants' brain waves will be recorded, including while they decide whether to move their thumb.

Choice/Reaction Time Task. Participants will watch different stimuli on the screen and react to them by moving their wrist. During this task, they will wear an EEG cap on their head and electrodes on their arms and wrists.

Electromyography. Small electrodes will be attached to participants' skin. Their muscle activity will be recorded while they decide whether to move their wrist and during the movement itself.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation that uses magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in your brain. TMS can increase or decrease brain activity in particular area of your brain. TMS operates completely outside of the body and is generally very well tolerated.

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In order to be eligible to participate in this study, an individual must meet all of the following criteria:

-Age between 25-45 years

-Right-handed (tested by the Edinburg handedness inventory).

-Able to give informed consent.

-Able to comply with all study procedures.

-Fluent in English.


An individual who meets any of the following criteria will be excluded from participation in this study:

-Illegal drug use within the past 6 months based on history alone. The intent is to exclude those with drug use that may affect study results.

-Self-reported consumption of >14 alcoholic drinks/week for a man and >7 alcoholic drinks/week for a woman.

-Abnormal findings on neurological examination.

-History of current brain tumor, stroke, head trauma with loss of consciousness, epilepsy, or seizures.

-Current episode of major depression or any major psychiatric illness.

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Not Provided

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Sara K. Inati, M.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
NIHBC 10 - CRC BG RM 7-5680
(301) 435-6269

Antonio I. Triggiani, M.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institutes of Health
Building 10
Room 7D42
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(301) 496-9526

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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