Neurocognitive Correlates of Student Development Study (iNSiDe)

Parents and teachers want all children to do well as students, but some children find it harder than others to do well in school. What is it about a student that makes it easier or harder to do well in school?

The goal of this study is to understand patterns of strength and weakness that help or hinder students in doing well academically. We want to understand a lot about each student, such as their skills in solving problems or remembering information, their sense of their own motivation, and the function and structure of their brains. We also ask a parent to help us understand the student, including some questions about their childhood and home environment. We will then relate this understanding of each student to his or her grades and school test scores. We hope that what we learn from this research will help teachers and parents support learning in all students. All information is kept private confidential at MIT.

What is my commitment?

You and your child will come to MIT for two study visits:

Session 1: Your child will complete assessments of academic achievement, cognitive abilities, and social-emotional characteristics such as growth mindset and grit. A parent or guardian will complete a short set of questionnaires about your child’s developmental history, personality, and family circumstances. We will also ask the parent/guardian to complete a behavioral assessment of spatial reasoning.

Session 2: Your child will participate in a safe brain imaging session using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. Your child will be asked to play computer games while participating in this MRI session.

We are happy to schedule study visits around your schedule, including weekday evenings and weekends. Study staff can accommodate families who speak either English or Spanish.


Participants (both children and parents) will receive Amazon gift cards for their participation. Children will receive up to $150 in gift cards, and parents will receive $40 for completing study sessions. We will also provide transportation assistance, either in the form of free parking or up to $10 cash to travel via MTBA/taxi.

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