Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience


Crying Study

Crying Study
Crying Study Image

Here in the Action and Body Lab we study the mental and neural processes which transform thoughts into actions.

This Study

Crying is a behaviour not normally under voluntary control, but which some people report being able to initiate voluntarily. Studying self-initiated crying will tell us something unique about how humans acquire and express voluntary behaviours.

What This Study Involves

We are looking for actors who are able to cry on cue and are willing to take part in an in-person behavioural experiment with us: we want to try and understand certain features of self-induced tears, such as the variability in the time it takes for the eyes to water. You’ll be given the freedom to take your own cue, and as much time as you need. The session will be recorded so we can analyse the timeseries of tear production. The recording will be stored securely, and accessed only by relevant researchers. With your consent, an example of the recording may be used to demonstrate the experiment at scientific meetings. 

If you also wish to be involved in later parts of the study, you can register your interest, and we will then be able to contact you again. 

The study has ethical approval from the UCL Research Ethics Committee (ref number: ICN-PWB-27-01-22A)

What are the Benefits of Taking Part?

By taking part in research you will be contributing to our understanding of human volition. You will also be remunerated for your time at a rate of £11.05 per hour.

Where Can I Get More Information?

For more details, the information sheet for participants can be found below. 

Or you can email one of our researchers: icn.cryingstudy@ucl.ac.uk

We will also ask you to sign a consent form before participating, a copy of the form can be found below. 

You can register interest by leaving your name and email address here, and one of our researchers will be in touch with you. Or you can email one of our researchers directly on: icn.cryingstudy@ucl.ac.uk . We are aware of the nature of an actor’s work and so are flexible and willing to work around your schedule.

Our study is conducted in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. More information about your rights as a participant can be found here