Dr. Robert J. Zeglin

University of North Florida

Department Public Health

Dr. Zeglin’s phone: 904-620-5048

Dr. Zeglin’s E-mail:

Community Sexual Health Education & Research Initiative E-mail:




The purpose of this research study is to better understand how the brain processes coming out memories for LGBTQ individuals and trauma-related memories for non-LGBTQ individuals. To measure the brain activity, you will be asked to come to UNF to tell a story while wearing a cap that is fitted with LED lights, called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). fNIRS is extremely safe and non-invasive. The study also includes a brief survey, asking you to answer a series of questions about yourself. None of those questions will require you to offer any identifiable information about yourself like your name or birthday. This study is funded by The Avielle Foundation and is a project of the Community Sexual Health Education & Research Initiative (CSHERI).



In order to participate in the study you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be willing to travel to UNF for about an hour
  • If participating in 2020, identify as any of the LGBTQ identities



It is important that you know what to expect during this study. First, if you agree to participate after reading this document, you will be asked to schedule an appointment to come to UNF. The appointment blocks are significantly longer than you are actually expected to be there. From start to finish, we anticipate the study taking approximately 25-45 minutes. You will be compensated for your time in the form of a gift card (discussed below). When you schedule your appointment, the scheduling software will ask for you to enter your name. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THIS. Instead, we ask that you use your initials or an alias that you will remember. The name you enter is the name we will use throughout our interaction with you during the study. It is important that you remember your appointment, including the location, because there is no way for us to confirm, edit, or cancel your appointment because we are not asking for you name or your contact information. Also, please note the address and parking code. You will need both of these pieces of information when you arrive for your appointment.

On the day of your appointment, you should arrive on time or slightly early. A member of the study team will greet you and show you to a computer. You will complete a brief survey that will include questions about your personality and demographics. This survey should take about 10-15 minutes. After this, a member of the study team will show you to the research lab room. Here, you will be fitted with a cap that contains a number of LED lights. These lights measure your brain activity and is very safe. It emits about the same amount of infrared rays as a television remote. While wearing the cap, you will be asked to recall and tell a personal story from your past. We are interested in different types of stories and we don’t know what kind we will ask to hear until you arrive. We may ask you to tell a trauma-related story. It is important that you know that this is a possibility before you agree to participate.



In general, you should not experience any risks in excess of those encountered in everyday normal living. The fNIRS technology is extremely safe and is FDA approved. There is some potential risk for emotional discomfort as a result of recalling a negative or traumatic memory. In the event that you experience any distress, we will provide you with a list of local and national resources for you to contact if you wish.



  1. a) You will be contributing to sexual health research by participating in this research
  2. b) You will receive a $25 Target gift card (discussed below)



You may withdraw from the research study at any time since your participation is entirely voluntary. If you decide not to participate, there will be no penalty or loss of benefits to you to which you are otherwise entitled. If you decide to participate, you may discontinue at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to you to which you are otherwise entitled. You may also elect to skip any question on the survey that you do not wish to answer.



We will not ask you for any personally identifying information as part of the study. So we will not be asking for your name, date of birth, social security number, or anything else that could be easily linked to you. The data from the study will be stored on the Primary Investigator’s secure UNF computer. A copy of the data will be stored on the Co-Primary Investigator’s (Dr. Katherine Hooper) secure UNF computer. In the event that there is a data breach, either through hacking or unauthorized distribution of data, we will post information related to the breach on the CSHERI website



After completing the study, you will receive a $25 Target gift card. We will also be covering the cost of parking on campus, which is $2.



If you have any questions about this research, please contact the Principle Investigator, Dr. Zeglin, by phone or email (904-620-5048 or If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, contact the University of North Florida Office of Research and Sponsored Projects 904-620-5048. Dr. Zeglin’s contact information is also easily accessible on the CSHERI website



If you click “Agree” below it means that you have freely agreed to participate in this research study. You should consent only if you have read the previous or it has been read to you, and you understand its contents. By continuing you also certify that you meet all of the inclusion criteria listed above.