Welcome! Bienvenida! 欢迎!

This website is for research projects in brainLENS at UCSF

We currently have two ongoing projects inviting people to participate!


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About brainLENS

We feel that it is imperative as an educational neuroscience laboratory to translate insights from the laboratory to educational practice and theory. These translational studies include the complementary use of neuroimaging to predict academic outcome in individual children and fine-tuning current criteria in identifying children with special needs. We are also beginning to untangle some of the genetic, prenatal, and postnatal environmental influences on developing brain networks, and creating brain network growth charts, much like a doctor would have at their office for height and weight.

We value the importance of examining the interaction not just between the neurobiology of learning and the external environment (e.g., school, peers, family, prenatal, intervention), but also the ‘internal environment’ to optimize learning. ‘Internal environment’ is the environment within ourselves that interacts heavily with society, culture, and the external environment surrounding us. Motivation, resiliency, self-concept, and stereotype threat (i.e., the belief or fear of confirming a negative perception of a particular social group, e.g. racial minorities, with which one identifies) are some examples of factors contributing to an individual’s ‘internal environment’. Neuroscience research may help dissect these into better-defined socio-emotional and cognitive constructs and assess their impact on learning, which may in turn lead to more targeted curricula, instructional approaches, and interventions.

Current research studies listed below:

UCSF Bilingual Study

NOTE: Your child does NOT need to be bilingual to participate in the study. English-only participants are welcome!


We are currently offering an exciting and limited opportunity at no cost for families with incoming kindergarteners (click here for details). There are also a few slots for those already in K through Grade 3.
If your child is eligible, we will monitor progress of your child's language, cognitive and motivational skills in detail every year from kindergarten to third grade, and provide individualized strategies to strengthen them. We may also be able to provide computerized programs or tutoring based on needs. This is particularly a great opportunity for families who are considering immersion programs and are interested in learning how their child will do in two languages. More broadly, we hope that the findings from this study will be helpful in planning better instruction for bilingual children.

For more information, please click here!

Para obtener más información y Recursos Comunitarios, por favor Oprime aquí!


To download a 1-page information sheet, please click here!

Información Descargar


If you are interested in participating, please contact:

Para solicitar información sobre el Estudio Bilingue de Imagen póngase se en contacto con:

詢問雙語影像研究 Bilingual Imaging Study 請聯絡:



415 476 9861


Complete Bilingual Study Initial Information Form
Información Inicial


UCSF K & Up Development Study

We are currently offering an exciting and limited opportunity (at no cost) for families with children entering Kindergarten in Fall 2016. If your child qualifies, we will monitor your child’s academic (reading and math) and cognitive (self-control, attention, memory) skills, which are critical to future success, every year for three years. . Our hope is that the findings from this study will not only help your child, your family and your school, but will also help us understand the processes involved in how children learn to read. We ultimately hope to help teachers develop instructional strategies to maximize English language learners’ success in the classroom and beyond.


For more information, please click here!

To download a 1-page information sheet, please click here!

If you are interested in participating, please contact:


415 476 9861

Complete Study Initial Information Form


Family Brain Study

This innovative study tests a novel and fundamental question that has not been addressed before: “Are human brain circuitries similar in parent-offspring dyads, and if so does it result from a heritable process, pre or postnatal environment, or as a complex interaction between these processes?” We believe that answering this question will provide us with essential information about the evolutionary basis of the human brain, pathophysiology of brain-based diseases and clues to developing early and preventive interventions of these diseases.

We are inviting IVF families to participate in brain scans and paper pencil tests.

For more information, please click here!

If you are interested in participating, please contact:


415 476 9861



Compensation - Benefits for you, your family, and your community

• You will be reimbursed for your time and travel
• Receive monetary incentives and/or prizes by participating.
• Receive information from kindergarten onwards about the full assessment of your child from reading, math, cognitive abilities, as well as socio-emotional skills such as motivation and temperament.
• Receive practical guidance on list of strategies you and your child can implement that will help promote the skills of interest.
• Receive ongoing information about seminars and programs provided by our laboratory.
• Receive copies of your brain scans.
• Potential to help your school and PTA with in-class and after-school programs and field trips.

Community Commitment

In addition to the cutting edge research in brainLENS, we have a commitment to the continued development of the various Schools and PTAs in the Bay Area, particularly the schools in the SFUSD. To affirm this commitment, we have pledged to support by:

• Providing volunteer tutoring services
• Additional science classes and support
• Professional development for teachers, continued education
• Seminars for PTAs and Teachers
• Workshop opportunities students or teachers related to bilingualism and/or brain/neuroscience.

For more information and Community Resources, please click here!