If you live in the Greater Waltham/Boston, Massachusetts area and are a healthy adult over the age of 65 (though sometimes we have studies that require adults age 55 and over, so call to inquire!), you may be interested in participating in our research.

Our studies do not involve taking medications, nor will we ask you to do anything that will be painful or harmful. We deal with the academic study of memory and cognition of healthy adults, and do not test for nor are able to provide any diagnosis of mental disorder. If you are concerned about out-of-the-ordinary difficulties with your memory or the memory of a loved one, we encourage to contact your medical doctor.

What is involved?

If you are interested in volunteering, the first step is to give us a call here at the lab (781-736-3273). When you call, we ask you to complete a brief telephone survey. It usually takes less than 5 minutes. The first part of the survey covers your educational and background and how you spend your time. The second part is a brief health survey. This is also a good time to ask us any questions that you might have about our volunteering or our research.

We will give you a call back in a few weeks or so to schedule a time that is convenient for you to come in. However, depending upon the number of research projects going on in our lab, the time could vary from a week or two to a several months. When we call you, we will let you know what the current project involves and how long you would need to come in for (usually an hour or two hours.) If the project interests you, we schedule a time that is convenient for you. You just come in that one time. This is not a project that requires you to keep coming back for weeks or months.

What if I don't have much free time?

The telephone survey only takes about 5 minutes, and the tasks that you complete when you come into the lab take between an hour and two hours. If we call and you don't have any free time right then, we can call back at another time that is convenient for you. After you volunteer that one time, that's all there is to it. Many people are reluctant to volunteer because they think that it might take up too much time. Here you can choose how much or how little time you would like to come in for. If you only have two hours of your time to give us, that's terrific. If you have more, that's great too. If you are interested in volunteering again you can let us know and we will call you the next time a projectstarts up and we need volunteers.

What will I be doing when I come to the Memory and Cognition Lab?

We have several different projects going on right now, so it depends on the project for which you are called. All of our projects are researching memory. For the most part, memory and language. Here are a few examples of the tasks that you might be asked to do:

You will have an opportunity to learn about human memory and cognition, as well as make a valuable contribution to science. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call us.

Our studies have even inspired our particiants to create works of poetry! Mike Franklyn is kind enough to share his experience in the poem below.

Brainy Stuff

By Mike Franklyn

The fact that we're old fuddy-duddies

Finds us in Brandeis brain studies

We have numerous tasks that we do

Some easy and some not a clue

You get some words that are short

Easy as pie then old sport

But what is that word

Sounds like something absurd

What a great big muddle it is

But I'm no more a young whiz

There are many you have to recall

Should you try or should you just stall

But you go through your dance

By the seat of your pants

And feed back the words that you had

Can't remember so many so sad

Now they will check out my hearing

The truth I can't hear is now nearing

Put on earphones and listen to things

Like buzzes, beeps, whistles and pings

They do this in extreme sotto voce

Truly they can't stop to coach me

Did I hear a short buzz

Are my ears packed with fuzz

Next you get lists of digits

Something to give you the fidgets

The numbers get longer and longer

You get wronger and wronger

But soon it gets worse

Repeat in reverse

Finally you listen to a story

Here I can be in my glory

But it's said so low and soft

You'd miss it if you coughed

Give back the main idea and details

But the memory falters and then fails

Sounds like a lot of hard work

But it's not a thing we would shirk

It's what we choose to do

We'll see it through and through

At the Memory and Cognition Lab

Where at headwork we all take a stab

Copyright C 2008 by Mike Franklyn

All Rights Reserved