Current Research Studies

Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine – The INCLUDE Developmental Delay Study

Condition or Therapy:

Developmental delay; intellectual disability


Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine

What is the goal of this study?

The overall goal of this study is to learn more about how the different parts of the brain work together in children and teens with intellectual developmental delay and intellectual disability. Very little is known about how brain function is different in these children. More specifically, we know very little about how the large-scale brain networks that are thought to be the basis of cognitive and learning abilities might work differently when people have developmental delays and intellectual disability. This is partly because people with these differences have rarely been included in human neuroscience research such as functional neuroimaging. We have created a new way to help children with developmental delays participate in neuroscience research using neuroimaging - functional MRI.

Who can join the study?

Children ages 7 to 16, with intellectual developmental delay or intellectual disability

At this time we are not recruiting children with a history of head injury, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness

Children with metal implants or ventricular (brain) shunts are also not eligible to participate

What will happen if my child takes part in this study?

In this study, children and teens are invited to participate in functional MRI. Your child will first learn how to lie still in the MRI scanner by participating in a gradual habituation process guided by experienced behavioral therapists and practicing in a mock MRI scanner at the Seattle Children's Autism Center. This will help your child become used to the feeling of being in an MRI machine, and keep their head still for at least 6 minutes. After this, your child will have a real functional MRI scan at South Lake Union. During the practice sessions and the real MRI, your child will be able to watch videos of cartoons. 

  • As well, your child will have IQ (intelligence) testing, and we will ask you to fill in a number of forms asking questions about their abilities like social skills and other behaviors. 
  • Your child will receive $100 to thank him or her for participation, and you can receive the results of your child's IQ test.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact the study coordinator by email or phone at 206-987-7179.

Study Location(s):

Seattle Children's Autism Center and UW South Lake Union 

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Nina de Lacy