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We would like to invite participants and their first degree relatives to take part in an online study that examines the relatability of language and non-language tasks.

Who is conducting this research?

The reliability of psychological tasks study has been designed by Professor Dorothy Bishop and her research group who are based in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford.

Why is this research being conducted?

The two sides of the brain are specialised for processing different types of information. For instance, in most people, the left side principally processes language, and the right side is specialised for faces. Nevertheless, some people have different types of organisation from the usual one. We are interested in understanding the causes and consequences of individual differences in brain organisation. Before we can do that, we need to devise an online battery of tasks that give stable measures of left-right brain differences in individual people. In this project, we will evaluate a battery of online tasks to measure brain specialisation, which could be used to test large numbers of participants. We will assess reliability by comparing how people perform on various tasks on two different occasions.

 

We are also interested in whether different types of laterality run in families. Therefore, we are interested in recruiting participants who have first degree relatives (e.g. parents, siblings, or children) who’d also be willing to take part.

Why have I been invited to take part?

You have been invited because you are aged 16 years or older, a native English speaker, have normal or corrected-to-normal vision, no significant history of hearing loss, and have no history of psychiatric drugs or neurological illness. We are particularly interested in recruiting left-handers to this study, but right-handers are also welcome to take part.

Do I have to take part?

No. You can ask questions about the research before deciding whether or not to take part by contacting Dr Adam Parker at adam.parker@psy.ox.ac.uk.  If you do agree to take part, you may withdraw yourself from the study at any time, without giving a reason and without negative consequences, by advising us of this decision. You are free to withdraw your data up until the point is anonymised, i.e. the point at which data from the two testing sessions are combined.

What will happen to me if I take part in the research?

 If you are happy to take part in the study, you will be asked to complete a test battery twice online. The battery of tasks will include questionnaires to assess handedness as well as behavioural tasks that involve judging materials (e.g. faces, words, pictures) displayed on a screen. Participants can complete this battery at a quiet place of their choice using either a desktop or laptop computer. Participants need to have stereo headphones to do one of the tasks. Each session will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

 

After completing the battery the first time, you will be asked to complete the battery again 3-10 days later.

If you are taking part with a relative, you should email Dr Adam Parker at adam.parker@psy.ox.ac.uk to receive your partner code if you have not already.

Are there any potential risks in taking part?

Participating in this study carries the same risks as everyday work on a computer screen, including minor eye strain, minor fatigue, and boredom. To minimize risks, the study will pause at intervals for you to have a short break.

 Are there any benefits to taking part?

While there a no immediate direct benefits to participants, your taking part will help develop online tools for measuring brain specialisation.

Expenses and payments

Depending on how you are recruited will determine how you are reimbursed:

1)      Participants recruited via the University of Oxford’s Research Participation Scheme will received course credits for their participation (1 credit/15 mintues)

2)      Participants recruited via Prolific will receive reimbursement at a rate of £10/hour for your participation.

All other participants will receive a £15 Amazon voucher.

What happens to the data provided?

Data is collected via Gorilla (https://gorilla.sc/). Gorilla is an online platform for conducting psychological research online and all data is held on secure servers within the European Economic Area. As such, Gorilla is the data controller with respect to your personal data and will determine how your personal data is used.  Please see their privacy notice here: https://gorilla.sc/privacy. Gorilla will share only fully anonymised data with the University of Oxford, for research purposes.

 

The information you provide during the study is the research data. The research team will have access to the research data. Anonymous research data will be stored on a secure server at Oxford University. It will be kept for a minimum of 3 years after publication of our research findings.

 

At the end of the study, completely anonymised electronic data will also be stored on the Open Science Framework (OSF) website (https://osf.io/). Storing data on the OSF website enables data to be shared between funding bodies, researchers and institutions with ease, whilst offering the opportunity of a wider evaluation and scrutiny by the scientific community, thus allowing a greater and more accurate replication and validation of research results.

 

Responsible members of the University of Oxford and funders may be given access to data for monitoring and/or audit of the study to ensure we are complying with guidelines, or as otherwise required by law.

Will the research be published?

Regular summaries of our overall findings will be available to interested participants via our annual Newsletter. We also aim to publish our findings in scientific journals but this maybe a year or two from the end of the study.

Who is funding the research?

This work is being conducted as part of the Cerebral Asymmetry: New Directions in Correlates and Etiology (CANDICE) project and is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

Who has reviewed this study?

This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (Reference number: R66638/RE002).

Who do I contact if I have a concern about the study or I wish to complain?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, please contact Dr Adam Parker (adam.parker@psy.ox.ac.uk) or Professor Dorothy Bishop (dorothy.bishop@psy.ox.ac.uk), and we will do our best to answer your query.  We will acknowledge your concern within 10 working days and give you an indication of how it will be dealt with.  If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford who will seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible:

 

Chair, Medical Sciences Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee; Email: ethics@medsci.ox.ac.uk; Address: Research Services, University of Oxford, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD.

What should I do next?

If you would like to take part in the study, or ask any questions, please contact the researcher using the contact details below.

 

Dr Adam Parker,

Department of Experimental Psychology,

University of Oxford,

Anna Watts Building,

Radcliffe Observatory Quarter,

Oxford.

OX2 6GG

 

Email: adam.parker@psy.ox.ac.uk