Social Anhedonia in Mental Illness Research Study

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are partnering with individuals with first episode psychosis to learn whether psychosocial training can change your experiences with social interaction. Join our compensated study today!

Fast Facts

first episode psychosis

no neurological problems

18-35 years old

Compensation Provided

Conducted in Birmingham, AL

Study Background

Social anhedonia refers to an inability to feel pleasure in interpersonal relationships and/or a lack of interest in pursuing social interactions. Although social anhedonia is frequent in psychosis, we don’t yet know much about how to reliably measure this in the brain. 

The primary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between social anhedonia and response to tasks involving social rewards. The secondary purpose is to examine whether 2-3 sessions of motivational interviewing can change an individual’s response to social reward processing tasks.

The information from this project may help us improve psychiatric care for social anhedonia in the future. Further research today and join our compensated study!

Additional Information

The primary purpose of this study is to explore a better way of measuring social anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure related to social interaction, with tasks designed to measure how individuals respond to social rewards and to examine whether brief sessions of psychosocial training can change performance on those tasks.

You may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria.

Key Criteria:

  • Age 18-35 years

  • A first episode of a psychotic illness that began within the past two years

  • No history of alcohol or substance use disorder in the past 6 months

  • No medication changes in the past 3 weeks

  • Taking 2nd generation antipsychotic medications

  • Sufficient fluency in English to understand testing procedures

  • No clinically significant disease based on medical history (e.g., epilepsy) or significant head injury

  • No pacemaker or metal implants and willing to participate in scanning

Interview (up to 2 hours): Answer questions about your mental health and medical history and substance use history, etc. 

Assessments (about 2 hours):  Respond to objects that are presented on a computer screen, answer questions about your personality, and take tests that measure your mental abilities. 

Skills Training (three 45-minute sessions): Discuss various obstacles with a member of the research team, as well as how to improve upon them.

MRI scans (about 1.5 hours): Lie down still and perform a social information processing task in the MRI scanner before and after skills training sessions.

Compensation is provided up to $363 for your time. Travel expenses will also be reimbursed.

There is no cost for you to participate in this study.