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Thank you for your interest in the Emotional Learning and Memory (ELM) Study!

Anxiety disorders are widespread and can be extremely debilitating. They are most likely to begin in childhood and adolescence. So, it is important to understand what factors might increase risk for anxiety, and especially in young people.

The ELM study is investigating relationships between anxiety and brain function during emotional learning in two age groups: adolescents and adults. We will also look at how hormones influence brain function and emotional learning at different ages. This research will allow us to learn more about age differences in the expression of anxiety, and will help create better interventions for people with anxiety disorders.


The two age groups we aim to include in the study are the following:

·    Adolescents: aged 14-16 years old

·    Adults: aged 25-35 years old *Note that we have filled our male adult group. Currently only recruiting female adults.


Participation involves 4-5 hours split over 2 consecutive days for adults, and 1 day for adolescents. Participating involves a computer task and visiting the Royal Children’s Hospital for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scan. We also ask you to do some tasks at home, including an interview, some questionnaires, and for adolescents – collect some saliva for us to test hormone levels.

Please see below for eligibility criteria. For more detailed information about the study, please click here if you are an adolescent, here if you are a parent of an adolescent, and here if you are an adult wanting to participate yourself.

Am I Eligible?


If you answer ‘YES’ to all relevant criteria, you may be eligible for participation in the study.

  • Fall into one of our two age categories ​

    • Adolescent: aged 14-16 years

    • Adult: aged 25-35 years

  • Fluent in written and spoken English

  • Do NOT have a current diagnosis of a developmental or mental health disorder

  • Are currently NOT taking medication for a mental health condition (for example, antidepressants) or undergoing hormone therapy.

For females only:

  • Have a regular menstrual cycle

  • Currently NOT using hormonal birth control (for example, the birth control pill)

  • Currently NOT pregnant and have never had previous pregnancies

If you answer 'NO' to some of the criteria, OR if you are an adolescent between 12 to 16 years old and you live in an Australian state other than Victoria, or if you live in New Zealand, you are able to participate in an online version of this study. 

Do you have any questions or not sure if you are eligible for participating in the ELM Study?


Please click here to provide us with your contact details, or send an email to, or call us on +61 3 8344 3428.

This research project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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