Paid research study with USC for kids ages 9 to 11

Dr. Assal Habibi is an Assistant Research Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. Her research takes a broad perspective on how biological dispositions and environmental factors interact and how learning experiences during childhood shape human development. Her group at the Brain & Music Lab is interested in the interdisciplinary study of music, language, psychology, and neuroscience. In a new study funded by National Institute of Health, they are looking to better understand how music training and bilingualism can impact development of cognitive and thinking skills in children.

Brain and music assistant research professor, Assal Habibi poses for a photograph, Oct 24, 2019. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Participants Needed

They are looking for children to participate in this study who are between the ages of 9 and 11 and are monolingual native English speakers — meaning they speak and understand one single language.

How to Qualify

To qualify for this study your child must either have at least two years of music training or no training with music at all.

How does it work?

If you agree to participate, you and your child will be asked to complete the study in 2 visits.

The First Visit

The first visit will be conducted remotely through Zoom and will consist of some online games and questionnaires.

The Second Visit

The second visit will be in-person at our lab at USC where we will use non-invasive brain imaging techniques to help us further understand childhood brain development.

Safety Measures

Our research facility is abiding by updated data collection protocols with COVID-19 in mind that are approved by the University of Southern California to ensure a safe environment and minimize risk for our participants and their families.


You and your child will be reimbursed $15/ hour for your participation and the study is expected to last about 5 hours including both visits.

A Gift to the Community and to Science

Participating in research is an invaluable gift you can offer to your community and to science. Our research investigates child development from diverse communities of Los Angeles and could be ultimately used to inform education policy at a local, state, or national level. Without your help, this would not be possible!

How to Sign Up

For more information or to sign up, contact research associate Amita at (213)740-0928 or via email at

Disclaimer: This is a paid, informational post and is approved by the editor of