Participate As a Research Subject

Adult community members, UC Davis students, and children accompanied by their parents can participate in our exciting research on the mind and brain by volunteering as research subjects.

Explore the pages of each of our laboratories and research projects and groups to learn more about the innovative studies our scientists are conducting, and how you can become involved.



If you are interested in receiving course credit for participating as a research subject, you please contact your instructor to determine whether and how you can receive credit for participating.


Adults aged 18 and up can be paid for participation in some research studies. Our scientists investigate various intriguing aspects of human behavior and functioning, including speech perception, musical performance and listening, attention, and memory. Our procedures involve no significant risks to your health or well-being. Some studies involve EEG recordings in which sensors are placed on the scalp to record brainwave activity. Other studies involve MRI brain scans, or simple measurements of button-press responses or eye movements. If you are interested in participating in a study as an research subject, you can register online. You will then be contacted if we have a study available for you.


UC Davis researchers at the Center for Mind and Brain conduct studies to improve understanding of how infants and children learn and develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally. In most studies, our researchers simply observe the ways in which infants and children explore, perceive, learn about and remember the sights, sounds and objects they encounter. We may watch them as they page through a book or while they figure out what a toy does and how it works. With very young children—babies under 18 months—we usually simply show them pictures or movies on a computer monitor and record how long they watch. Parents often hold or sit alongside their children during these sessions. Parents and their children find participation in our studies rewarding and enjoyable. We try to make the sessions fun, as you can see on the Facebook page for one of our labs.  Usually, the child is offered a small toy or book in appreciation for volunteering their time (and their parents' time) to help in our important work. If you are a parent you can enroll your infant(s) or child(ren) online. Your information is kept only for identifying families who are interested in volunteering. You will be contacted if we have a study available for your child, and you can decide if you are interested and have the time to volunteer for that study.