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Clinical Addictions Research Laboratory

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for this study?

The total amount of time that you are needed in the lab is 10 to 12 hours.

How much will I be paid?

You will be given $60 for each of the 2 sessions and a bonus of $30 for punctuality and completion. There is also a possible bonus of $15 per session for arranging your own ride home.

 When will I be receiving my payment?

We will be filing the necessary paperwork after your last experimental session. You will have a choice between receiving your check in the mail or arranging to pick it up here at the University of Chicago.

 How much of these common substances will I be consuming?

The amount of the substance is dependent on your exact body measurements to provide for standardization. You may receive alcohol, a stimulant, a sedative, or a placebo (no substances).

 Are any of these substances harmful?

The substances used in this study may include alcohol, stimulants, sedatives, and placebo (no substance). The stimulant is similar to caffeine and the sedative is similar to an antihistamine. The amount of alcohol you may receive could put you at the legal driving limit; the amount of stimulant you may receive could leave you feeling wide awake; and the amount of sedative you may receive may leave you feeling sleepy.

 What is an fMRI scan?

Please see the information provided above to learn more about this safe and effective technology. Additional information about fMRI is available at the following websites:

Radiology Info –

Wikipedia –

 What would I have to do during the fMRI scan?

In the Brain Research Imaging Center (BRIC), you will be asked to put on a hospital gown for the scan; this is to ensure that no metal enters the magnet room itself. Once inside the scanning room, you will lie on a sliding table and move into the cylindrical bore of the machine. After you are comfortable, a technician will fit your eyes with goggles for the image presentation and adjust your hands to a keyboard to facilitate your responses. It is important that you remain still for the few consecutive minutes of each run as any small movement may distort the image created by the machine. You will be inside the machine for approximately 45 minutes, only 20-30 minutes of which will be actual scanning time. For your comfort and safety, you will be in constant contact with a technician. After the scan is complete, you will return to our lab for the rest of the experimental session.

 Is an fMRI scan dangerous?

The technology used in fMRI scans is generally very safe as there are no side effects and it is non-invasive. The use of such powerful magnetic technology does create certain hazards, however. Anyone withnon-removable metal devices or implants should not have anfMRI scan. Also, women who are or may become pregnant should not participate.

 Will I find out exactly what I consumed at the end of the study?

Although during the study you will not know the specific substances that you are consuming (to prevent the knowledge from influencing you), at your second session you will be fully debriefed on all aspects of the study, including the disclosure of which substances you consumed during your sessions.

 How can I apply?

Anyone who meets the qualifications may apply online by filling out a brief survey.

 Where do I go for my screening/experimental sessions?

All sessions will take place at our lab in The University of Chicago Hospitals, located on the south side of Chicago in Hyde Park. Please see the comprehensive list [link to Directions page of SSMB website] located on the Social Smoking Moods and Behaviors Study website or contact the lab directly for more specific directions.

 Can’t find the answers you are looking for?

If you have looked through all the information and still can’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to email the Project Coordinator, Patrick McNamara, at


Study Overview


fMRI Information




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