Neuropsychology Alcohol Studies Lab

The Kareken Lab, led by David A. Kareken, PhD, uses neuroimaging to understand the human brain’s reward system in studies of alcoholism and obesity. The alcohol research conducted in this laboratory is funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Participate in a Study

The Kareken lab is seeking participants who drink alcohol and are between the ages of 21 and 45. Compensation for lab studies ranges between $150 and $575. Interested candidates are encouraged to sign up to participate in a Kareken lab study. Additionally, applicants can create a volunteer profile with All IN for Health to learn more about health research opportunities throughout the state.

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image of a brain scan

fMRI Study of Tasting Alcohol and Working

This study takes three and a half hours to complete. Participants undergo an MRI while going through the following sequence twice: tasting a drink (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic), working on a task, and then resting. The study and prerequisite in-person screening take place in Indianapolis at Goodman Hall and are conducted Monday through Friday. Participants in this study receive up to $150.

image of a brain scan

fMRI Study of Working for Alcohol

In addition to an in-person screening, this study requires an overnight stay at University Hospital’s Clinical Research Center in Indianapolis. On the first day, participants briefly experience intravenously administered alcohol and have an MRI at Goodman Hall while they perform a task. Depending on task performance, participants may then have the opportunity to administer themselves intravenous alcohol following the MRI scan. Participants then spend the night at University Hospital and are discharged at 10:30 am the following day. This study is conducted primarily on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Participants in this study receive up to $575 and have the opportunity for additional payment during the study visit.

fMRI Study of Family History and Mental State Transitions

Following an in-person screening, this study requires a six-and-a-half-hour visit to the Neuroscience Center at Goodman Hall in downtown Indianapolis. Participants will undergo cognitive testing, as well as an fMRI scan during which they will taste different liquid beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), work on a task, and rest. This study may take place Monday through Friday during normal business hours, and participants in this study are compensated up to $325.

Faculty Research Team

David A. Kareken, PhD

Professor of Neurology

Mario Dzemidzic, PhD, MS

Associate Research Professor of Neurology

Additional Research Team Members

Other research team members include Jonathan Alessi, Keegan Sawin, Hannah Marotta and Olivia Haraway.