top of page



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

Emotional development describes how adolescents learn about, and regulate, emotions. Healthy emotional development is important for mental health and well-being, yet we do not have a good understanding of the influential factors. Understanding the factors that drive emotional development in adolescents will help us to better support adolescents and help those experiencing emotional difficulties and mental health problems.

The ELM Study is investigating how puberty and brain function contribute to emotional development in adolescents (aged 14-16).  ELM also aims to investigate the role of the family environment.


Participation involves a ~2.5 hour visit at 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 providing 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, or here if you are a parent of an adolescent.

Am I Eligible?


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

  • Adolescent aged 14-16 years old

  • 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:

  • 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.

bottom of page