We are studying brain activity in teenagers who are
experiencing feelings of sadness and irritability.
Visit Trinity College Dublin to perform some psychological tasks
and noninvasive brain recordings (MRI).
Help us understand depression,
and get €20 and a photo of your brain.
If you interested in participating, contact us at
085 833 4160 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Title of Project: A Neuroimaging and Genetic Investigation of Depressive
Symptoms, Emotion Regulation, and Coping in Adolescence
Dr. Clare Kelly, Ussher Assistant Professor of Functional Neuroimaging, Trinity College Dublin
Prof. Louise Gallagher, Professor and Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Trinity
Information Sheet for Participants Under 18 Years
We would like to invite you to take part in a brain project in Trinity College and St. James’s
Hospital. We hope to learn more about what is happening in the brains of adolescents who
are experiencing feelings of sadness or irritability.
What is this study about?
This project will use a brain scanner called an MRI scanner to take pictures of your brain
while you play a computer game. These pictures will help us to understand what is
happening in the brains of people with and without sadness or irritability while they learn to
play a computer task.
Why is this study important?
People use “coping strategies” to help them deal with difficult or stressful situations. Some
coping strategies are more helpful than others. To develop better ways of helping
adolescents to cope with feelings of sadness or irritability it is important to understand what
is happening in the brains of people while they are using coping strategies to deal with a
What will happen in this study?
You and your parents will be asked to come to our research offices to complete a list of
questions about you. If you have a keyworker, we will contact your keyworker before this
assessment session to let them know that you will be participating in this study and what
the study involves.
You will also be asked to give a sample of your blood and/or saliva so that researchers can
see what kind of genes you have. This will help us to see if particular genes affect the way
the brain works in adolescents who are experiencing feelings of sadness or irritability.
You will next be asked to come to Trinity College with your parent(s) for the brain scan. We
will first help you to practice being in the brain scanner using a practice brain scanner. When
you are ready, we will go to the real MRI scanner so that we can take pictures of your brain.
You will be asked to wear a helmet, earplugs, and headphones while you are in the scanner
to protect your ears from the loud noise that the scanner makes. It is really important that
while you are in the scanner you stay very still. This is very important for the scanner to be
able to take good pictures. If you move while you are in the scanner, the brain pictures will
We will then ask you to play a computer game. In the game, you will learn to move a
character around a game board to avoid getting hit by lightening. If the character gets hit,
you will hear a very loud noise. We will fully explain the task beforehand and you will be
given plenty of time to practice.
Who will take part in this study?
Females aged between 13 and 19 years with and without feelings of sadness and irritability
will take part in this study.
What are the risks associated with participating?
MRI Scanning: There are hardly any risks associated with MRI scanning. The MRI scanner
uses powerful magnets to take pictures of your brain – there is no ionizing radiation
involved. Because it uses very powerful magnets, it is very important that you have no metal
anywhere on or in your body. We will check this very carefully with you and your parent(s)
before you go into the MRI scanner.
You might get uncomfortable staying still for so long and the noise inside the scanner is very
loud. You will be given a button that you can press at any time if you want to stop the scan.
If you press it, the researchers will talk to you straight away and will come and take you out
of the scanner if that is what you want to do.
Blood Sampling: When your blood is being taken, your may feel a bit of pain in your arm,
you may get a bruise, and it may also keep bleeding for a little while. You may also feel a
little weak or dizzy when your blood is being taken.
Will this research benefit me?
You will not benefit directly from taking part in this research project. By taking part in this
study you will help us to understand more about sad moods and this may be of help to
other people in the future.
Can I withdraw from the study if I don’t want to take part of it anymore?
You do not have to take part in this project if you do not want to. If you don’t want to take
part anymore, just tell your parents or the researcher. You may withdraw from the study at
any time without any consequences. You can find our contact details at the end of this
information sheet. If you withdraw from the study because you don’t want to take part
anymore, we will still use the information we have already collected when we are looking at
the results, unless you tell us that you don’t want your information to be included.
How will my privacy be protected?
If you choose to take part in the study, you will be given an ID number. Only researchers in
Trinity College and St. James’s Hospital will know who you are. We might share some of the
information we collect from you with other researchers but will use only your ID number
and never your name or where you live.
If the pictures of your brain show anything strange, your family doctor will be told. If you
have a keyworker, we will contact your keyworker after the assessment session to let them
know whether the session was completed. We will not discuss the information you provide
during the session with your key-worker or anyone else. The only exception to this is if the
researcher thinks you are not safe in any way, in which case they will tell your parents
and/or a person whose job it is to keep children safe (health service worker).
What do I do now?
If you are happy to take part in the study you can sign the form you will be provided when
you attend for the first session at our research offices. We will ask your parents to sign one
Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience,
Dr. Clare Kelly
Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience,