The University of Southern California Healthy Minds Volunteer Corps aim to investigate how aging affects thinking and emotion and what can be done to maintain healthy minds as we age.
The Healthy Minds Volunteer Corps is a group of volunteers ages 18-100 who are interested in helping USC researchers complete their various projects by participating in studies. Here is a list of the USC Healthy Minds faculty members and brief descriptions of what their projects focus on:
Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio: The normal structure of the human brain; brain function during the experience of emotion, musical performance and decision making
Gerald Davison: Positive emotions like happiness and life satisfaction in older adults
Margaret Gatz: Risk and protective factors for cognition and dementia
These studies typically involve completing various cognitive tasks and answering questionnaires; a few of them also use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record brain activity while people complete cognitive tasks. Some studies pay volunteers a stipend for their time; others involve unpaid volunteers. Some of the studies only involve older participants, but many of the studies also include younger and middle-aged adults in order to compare cognitive processes across different age groups.