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Brain Stimulation and Vision Testing

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified April 20, 2017 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) )
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ) Identifier:
First received: June 8, 2012
Last updated: April 26, 2017
Last verified: April 20, 2017


- The brain has two systems for recognizing objects. One system recognizes what an object is, and the other system recognizes where the object is located. However, there is much about how the brain handles and interprets the information from these two systems that is still unclear. Researchers want to study the parts of the brain that are involved in how vision is processed. They will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on the brain. MRI measures what parts of the brain become more active when tasks are performed. TMS uses magnetic pulses to temporarily change the activity in parts of the brain.


- To better understand how people visually recognize different types of objects.


- Healthy volunteers between 18 and 50 years of age.


  • This study includes many different experiments on vision. Each experiment may combine visual tasks, MRI scans, and TMS. Participants may be asked to have several different tests. Each test will require a separate visit to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Participants will be screened with a physical exam and medical history. They will have a baseline brain scan at the first visit.
  • Participants may do visual tasks alone, with MRI only, with TMS only, or with MRI and TMS combined. For the visual tasks, they will look at pictures of objects on a computer screen. Sometimes the images will appear very briefly (less than one-tenth of a second). Sometimes they will appear for up to 5 seconds. These images will be of things like faces, bodies, tools, and scenes. Participants will be asked to respond in different ways to the pictures. They may respond by typing on a computer keyboard or by pressing a button. Participants will have time to practice the tasks before the experiment.
  • Participants will remain on the study for up to 3 years.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Visual System

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: TMS Investigations of the Human Visual System

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ):

Estimated Enrollment: 345
Study Start Date: May 17, 2012
  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes


Ages 18-50 years (inclusive)


Individuals with conditions that could pose a risk relating to the safety of the MRI procedure, the TMS procedure or the combined TBS and fMRI procedure will be excluded from the protocol such as:

  • Those with ferromagnetic metal in the cranial cavity or eye, e.g. aneurysm clip, implanted neural stimulator, cochlear implant, ocular foreign body.
  • Those with an abnormality on a structural MRI.
  • Those with an implanted cardiac pacemaker or auto-defibrillator
  • Those with an insulin pump.
  • Those with an irremovable body piercing
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with a visual impairment that will prevent them from performing the task
  • Those without consent capacity will not be enrolled
  • Those who do not understand the study instructions
  • Those with a history of neurological problems. Neurological problems include, but are not limited to; family history of epilepsy, history of seizures and recurrent migraines.
  • Those using medicines that can lower the seizure threshold. These can include but are not limited to; imipramine, amitriptyline, doxepine, nortriptyline, maprotiline, chlorpromazine, clozapine, foscarnet, ganciclovir, ritonavir, amphetamines.
  • Those with a visual impairment that will prevent them from performing the task
  • Those who have a significant psychiatric illness or have a history of psychiatric illness.
  • NIMH employees
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01617408

Contact: Elizabeth H Hall (301) 435-8422
Contact: Leslie G Ungerleider, Ph.D. (301) 435-4932

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Leslie G Ungerleider, Ph.D. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Identifier: NCT01617408     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 120128
Study First Received: June 8, 2012
Last Updated: April 26, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ):
Theta Burst Stimulation
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Visual Cortex
Visual Processing processed this record on May 25, 2017