Project FLEX: Studying the Flexible Brain

Study Information

We are looking for healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnoses to help us study how the brain works as it shifts back-and-forth between different demands. We hope that this knowledge will help researchers to better understand the brain networks involved in flexible behavior and help them in the future to develop new treatments for psychiatric disorders, like obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to participate in this study if:

  • You are between the ages of 18 and 55
  • You do not have a current psychiatric diagnosis
  • You are right-handed
  • You are fluent in English


Eligible participants will be compensated up to $200 for completing all study visits.

More Information/FAQ

What will happen during Project FLEX?

Eligible participants will come in for three (3) visits in total:

  • During the first visit, at the OCD Research Program at Butler Hospital, participants will complete an interview with a member of our study staff, which will include questions about their physical and mental health. Additionally, they will be asked to fill out some additional forms and questionnaires.
  • During the second visit, which will take place at the Brown MRI Research Facility, participants will complete two fMRI scans.
  • Finally, during the third visit, also at the Brown MRI Research Facility, participants will complete two fMRI scans, and will receive repetitive TMS in between the scans. During the fMRI scans, participants will be asked to complete a task on a computer screen. Half of study participants will receive active TMS where the brain is stimulated and the other half will get non-active (or sham) repetitive TMS.

Why is this being done?

We are recruiting healthy individuals with no psychiatric disorders to help us better understand how the brain functions when a person is trying to switch back and forth between different tasks. This group will serve as a “control” group: data collected from people with no psychiatric diagnoses will be compared to data collected from of group of individuals with OCD, in order to help researchers learn about how the brain may function differently in those with OCD compared to those without OCD.

A great deal of work has been done over the past several decades to better understand how the brain functions in OCD. While scientists have learned a lot in this time, there is still more to learn. By gaining a better understanding of how the brain works in OCD, we (and other researchers) hope to be able to develop new treatment options for OCD in the future.


Primary Principal Investigator

Sarah Garnaat

Butler Hospital

Area of Study
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Recruitment Status

Contact Form

For more information or to discuss your eligibility, call (401) 455-6610, or fill out the form below for a staff member to contact you by phone.