Unlocking the Secrets of the Brain: Can a Mindfulness App Tame Anxiety?


Next Steps

  1. Complete the study questionnaire
  2. Understand if you’re eligible to participate
Click Here

Research Center: Brown University
Location: Providence, RI 02912, United States
Lead Researcher: Dr. Judson Brewer
IRB: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Brown University Institutional Review Board

About the Study

Ever thought about how your brain makes sense of the world? Your brain is like a super-smart engine, always working to make sense of the stuff life throws your way. But here’s the catch: sometimes, it can get things a bit wrong, like making you feel anxious for no reason. Figuring out this balance between your brain’s job and anxiety is key to finding peace in your everyday life.

Researchers from Brown University are interested in understanding how the brain deals with life experiences and how it affects anxiety. They’re conducting a study aimed at evaluating whether an app can effectively address anxiety and enhance overall well-being. If you’re keen to potentially reduce anxiety and learn about your brain, see if you qualify for this study. Let’s work together to advance mental health research!

Why Participate?

  • Participants may have the opportunity to gain valuable insights into themselves and their anxiety at no cost.
  • Participants will be compensated with Amazon gift cards for participating in this study. Compensation will only be provided to eligible participants who complete the study.
  • Participants will be contributing valuable information that may benefit those struggling with anxiety in the future.
  • Participants will be helping to advance mental health research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Men and women aged 18 – 65 years old who may be experiencing low or high levels of anxiety
  • Must own a smartphone and be willing to download the study app
  • Must be willing to attend up to 2 study visits at the research site over approximately 2 months

More Study Details

The study team will explain the research in its entirety, but some details are:

  • Participants will be requested to complete two online assessments, each with an estimated duration of up to 15 minutes. These assessments will occur at two distinct points in time: first, at the baseline prior to the commencement of the app-based intervention, and then again at the conclusion of the intervention, approximately two months later. 
    • Some of the questions include sensitive topics, such as questions about their anxiety and medical history. Participants may decide to withdraw from the study at any time.
  • Following the baseline survey, participants will engage in a 30-minute Zoom interview to generate situational examples for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) assessments. 
    • In the MRI session, participants will view visual stimuli via a mirror above their heads and hear auditory stimuli through noise-canceling headphones. They will respond using a keyboard and/or speaking aloud. The entire MRI session, including screening, set-up, and debriefing, will last up to 180 minutes. 
    • Participants will also receive a smartwatch for passive data collection, which is necessary for the study.
  • Some participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups for a smartphone app intervention lasting 2 months. One group will receive an iTunes or Google Play gift card to cover the cost of an in-app purchase. 
    • During this period, participants will receive 3-6 daily text message surveys about their emotions, and a research team member will provide guidance for canceling subscription charges. After 2 months, participants will return for an MRI session and complete a follow-up assessment.

About the Research Center:

Brown University
Brown is a leading research university, where stellar faculty and student researchers deploy deep content knowledge to generate new discoveries on those issues and many more. What sets their work apart? Collectively, Brown’s researchers are driven by the idea that their work will have a positive impact on the world.

Please note:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers would like to assure the participants that ensuring their and the study staff’s safety is of utmost importance.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study

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