BCNN Studies

Currently Enrolling:


BRIGHTKids Study: This study is a sub-project stemming from the larger birth cohort study, STRONGKids 2 (registered at as NCT03341858; IRB # 13448), which currently follows participants from birth to 7 years. The purpose of the sub-project is to explore outcomes of cognitive development and body composition and their predictors (diet, physical activity, parent characteristics, etc.) in greater detail as these children turn 4 and 5-years-of-age. Specifically, these participants will undergo a body composition scan, a pencil paper test to assess academic achievement, and they will perform several computer-based cognitive tasks while their brain function is being measured. Additionally, parents will complete surveys and a 7-day diet record for their child. Participants will also be asked to wear a physical activity tracker for 7 days. For participation, you must already be enrolled in the STRONGKids 2 study. However, note that the STRONGKids 2 is no longer actively recruiting. IRB #16484

ELIAS Study: This study involves toddlers 12-18 months-of-age and explores how nutrition impacts visual and brain development. Study participation will involve 6 visits (1.5 hours each) to our laboratory over 12 months. During these visits, we will measure the toddler’s brain function while they watch a computer screen and listen to sounds. The toddler’s nutrition status will also be measured using a few drops of blood collected from a heel/finger prick. Parents will earn up to $420 (via gift card) for their participation. IRB #21611

iPALS Study: This study is examining the effects of a physical activity summer program for elementary and middle school students on cognitive abilities and physical fitness. Participants are enrolled in the iPALS Wellness Program, a 3-4 week summer camp involving sports and physical activity games, nutrition education, and academic enrichment. At the program, participants will complete questionnaires, computer tasks, body composition assessments, physical fitness tests, and computerized cognitive tasks. Laboratory visits occur once before and once after camp the camp, where participants will complete cognitive tasks and body composition assessments. Participants will receive $40 for completing tasks at the iPALS camp site, and $100 for completing both laboratory visits. IRB #19796

SHELL Study: This study examines the relationships among dietary intake, retinal health, and cognition in children ages 7-12 years. Participation involves 1 to 2 in-person visits to our laboratory (2.5hours/day) and 1 to 2 online sessions (1 hour each). During these visits, children will be asked to complete eye tests and perform computer-based cognitive tasks. Participants may also qualify to receive daily snacks for 4 weeks. Families will earn between $100 to $300 for their participation. IRB #18305


ACE: This study aims to investigate the molecular mechanism through which exercise affects brain function in adults between the ages 18 – 35. The study will consist of 3 visits. All three visits will be completed at Freer Hall. During your first visit you will fill out a series of survey, measure your height and weight, an eye and finger exam to assess nutritional markers, and a fitness test to assess your current fitness level. For your second and third visits, you will be asked to either do an exercise test or rest on a bicycle for 40 minutes followed by a series of computerized tasks designed to test your attention and memory while wearing an EEG cap. Throughout the second and third visit, we will place a catheter inside a vein in your arm and draw blood a various times throughout the visit. For your participation you will receive an electronic gift card for $100 upon completion of the study. If you are unable or choose to not complete all 3 visits, you will receive $25 per visit ($50 total for 2 visits).  IRB #21748

GAMEPLAN: Gastrointestinal And Metabolic Effects from a Prebiotic, Lifting, and Aerobic iNtervention study is a research project aimed to study the relationship between diet, exercise, the gut microbiome, and health.  We are looking for men and women between the ages of 20-45 years to participate. The study consists of a 6-week period where you will come in to Freer Hall three times per week to participate in a supervised exercise program. You will also consume a daily supplement, which you will mix into water at breakfast. You will also be asked to visit the lab two times over the course of the study (2 hours per visit) to complete questionnaires, bone density scans, computer tasks, and blood draws.  You will also provide fecal samples at the beginning and end of the 6-week period. IRB #21730

LUMES: Lutein and Multiple Sclerosis Evaluation Study. LUMES is examining the relationship between macular carotenoids, retinal health, and cognition in people with Multiple Sclerosis in adults ages 18-64 years.  IRB #20012

NECTAR Study: This study investigates the relationship between yogurt consumption and digestive health. We are looking for healthy adults between the ages of 22-64 years. The study will consist of two 2-week periods where participants will consume a yogurt snack two times per day, separated by at least 4 weeks. Participants will be asked to visit the lab for 5 sessions, lasting .5-1.25 hours each, to complete questionnaires, computer tasks, a body composition scan, and liver ultrasound. In addition, 4 stool samples will be collected. For your participation, you will receive $50 after the first intervention period and testing and an additional $250 after completion of the study. IRB #20121

SCOPE Study: This study involves adults ages 45-75 years consuming two different supplements on a daily basis for two four week periods. Participant testing will involve completing surveys and computer tasks (over 5 visits of 1.5 to 2.5 hours each) to assess thinking ability and collection of stool samples. Additional information on health history and habitual physical activity and dietary intake. Compensation up to $350 provided upon completion. IRB #21839

SNACKing Study: This study investigates the relationship among diet, gut health, and metabolic health in adults between the ages of 30-60 years.  Participation consists of a 12-week period where participants consume a pre-packaged snack twice per day.  Participants are asked to visit the lab for 3 sessions to complete a body composition scan, liver ultrasounds, and blood draws and be asked to complete questionnaires remotely.  Six stool samples will also be collected.  Participants will receive $50 after the first two visits and $250 upon completion. IRB #20154



BAT Kids: Behavioral Associations with Thinking in Kids was a study for children ages 4-5 years that investigated the relationship between early life nutrition and thinking ability.

CATS:  The aim of this study was to determine the relationship among the various nutrition status assessment techniques in adults. Participation in this study involved up to 1 session about 3.5 hours long where we measured height, weight, waist circumference and asked participants to complete surveys to understand diet and physical activity habits. We also conducted cognitive tests and simple eye tests and a skin test to understand habitual diet.

EPOCH: Evidence-based dietary strategies provide behavioral means of mitigating the effects of obesity on physical and cognitive function in adults ages 25-45 years. The EPOCH study aimed to investigate effects of a fermented dairy beverage consumption and a lactose-free dairy beverage with added dietary prebiotic fiber on changes in behavioral and biological measures of cognition and stress among obese adults.

Gardening and Family Health Study: This study aimed to understand the relationship between gardening and individual and family health.  Two adults between the ages of 18-45 and one child between the ages of 5-17.

Gut-Brain: A cross-sectional study in adults ages 25-44 years aimed at examining the relationship between lifestyle behaviors, gut function, metabolism, and thinking ability.

HAPPIMOMs: Health Assessments Pre and Postpartum Involving Macular pigments, Obesity/Overweight, and Microbiome Study. HAPPIMOMs examined the relationship among aspects of nutrition, gut health, and weight changes during and after pregnancy.  Women in any stage of pregnancy or those who have recently given birth (<12 weeks prior) participated.

LiBra: This study examined the relationship among diet, physical health, and cognitive performance in children ages 8 to 13 years.  Participation involved 2 visits to Freer Hall and possibly 3 visits to Beckman Institute.  Measures included health behaviors such as diet and physical activity, weight status, brain imaging, and a blood draw.

PATH: A 12-week dietary intervention in adults ages 25-45 years aimed at examining the relationships between dietary intake, gut function, metabolism, and thinking ability.

RETLU: This study retrospectively investigated the effects of early life nutrition on brain structure, function, and cognition among current and previous child participants ages 7-12 years.

WITIKids: Water Intervention for Thinking in Kids ages 9-10 years. This study aimed to assess the effects of fluid intake reduction on markers of hydration status and cognitive function.

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