Frequently Asked Questions about the Brain Training Study


Office WorkWho are the researchers?

These studies are being conducted by researchers in the The CNS Lab at the University of Calgary. All research in this lab is supervised by Dr. Vina M. Goghari. The research team includes Clinical Psychology graduate students and research assistants who conduct research on cognition (thinking and memory processes) in many different populations, including healthy adults. In addition, Linette Savage, a PhD student in the CNS Lab, is collaborating with Dr. Linda Carlson (Integrative Oncology Research Lab) to investigate brain training in cancer survivors.


How do I sign up?

The easiest way to sign up is to click on the Train my Brain link that applies to your age range and/or health status above. This will take you to a survey where you will answer a few basic questions about your age, general health, ability to access the training programs, and any previous brain training experiences you may have had. These questions are meant to confirm that you qualify for the study (e.g., are generally healthy and in the age range we are looking for). By qualifying, we feel that you will benefit from participating, and we will benefit from having you as a participant.


How do I know if I quality?

Within a few days of you filling out the survey, you will be contacted by the researcher by either telephone or email, depending on how you prefer to be contacted. The researcher will let you know if you qualify for the study.


What if I don't qualify for this study?

If you do not qualify for this particular study, there may be other studies that you qualify for and might be interested in. The researcher can talk to you about options to participate in other studies, or to be placed on a list for future studies that you may qualify for.


StudyingIf I qualify, what will I be asked to do?

If you qualify, welcome to the study! The researcher will clearly explain all steps involved in study participation. To give you a brief overview, here is what you will be asked to do. First, you will meet with the researcher at the University of Calgary (or if necessary an alternate location) for a pre-training assessment. In this assessment you will fill out questionnaires and have your cognitive skills (e.g., working memory, thinking speed, reasoning and decision making ability) measured through a series of activities. After the assessment, you will be randomized into either a training group or a no training control group. If you are in the training group, your training can begin! You will be assigned with a username and password to access the training games. Simply play the games for 30 minutes/day, 5 days/week for the training period. Training periods may vary depending on which study you qualify for, but they will be no longer than 10 weeks. After the training period (or no training period for the control group), you will meet with the researcher again to have your cognitive skills measured. This way, we can see what's changed!


What sort of information will you collect from me?

In the initial survey we will ask you for information about your age, general health, previous brain training experience, and ability to access online programs. We will also request contact information (name, email or phone number) so we can let you know if you qualify for the study.

If you qualify, you will be assigned with a participant number. During your first meeting with the researcher you will fill out questionnaires asking about your background and your physical and mental health. Your participant number will be used instead of your name on all of these forms, so your answers remain anonymous. When you play the games, the researchers will be sent information about the amount of time you spent training, and your performance on the games. Again, this is all done through your participant number so your name is never connected to the data.


What happens to the information?

Everything that we collect from you (your answers to the questionnaires, your scores on the cognitive skills measures, the time you spent and your performance on the training games) will be converted to data that will be analyzed by the researcher. All data is stored on a password protected computer in the CNS Lab, which is secure and accessable only by authorized research personnel. Remember, your name does not appear on any of this data. Paper files are kept in a locked filing cabinet in the CNS Lab. Published results will be based on groups and averages. Results will not focus on any one individual and participant names or identifying characteristics are never published.


CrosswordWhat happens to my results?

‚ÄčOverall findings will be presented and submitted for publication so what we learn can be shared with other researchers and the general public. As a participant, you will have early access to the results of the study.


When do I need to sign up by?

‚ÄčIt is best to sign up as soon as possible! If you do not think you can participate right away but are interested in similar future studies,click on the Train my Brain link above that best applies to you and fill out the survey. When we contact you about this study just let us know you are not able to participate at this time, but may be able to in the future. We will add you to our list to contact for future studies.

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