Special Investigation of Curcumin Effects (SPICE)

IMG_2782The purpose of this research study is to learn about the effects of a common dietary supplement, curcumin, on attention and emotion. In this study we are interested in determining the effects that curcumin might have on cognitive causes of stress and anxiety as well as on reducing feelings of fear, worry, stress, and anxiety. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, a yellow spice that has been used in traditional Indian cooking for thousands of years. Participation in this study involves visiting the Emotion Regulation Laboratory in the Hunter College Psychology Department on three separate occasions, the first visit four weeks before the second two visits, and taking a curcumin dietary supplement or placebo pill once a day for the four weeks between the first and seconds sessions. The third lab session will take place 24 hours after the second lab session. The first two visits will take approximately three hours each and the third session will take about one hour.

For a portion of the visit we will use a non-invasive technology, electroencephalography (EEG), which poses no risk to you. EEG allows us to monitor brain activity, which may provide important information to help us determine if curcumin supplement has an effect on emotional reactions. It involves wearing a cap, which is similar to a swim cap and we would put water-soluble gel in the cap to measure signals on your scalp. We would also sometimes measure the electrical conductance in your skin and this will be done by placing electrodes on the second and third fingers of your non-dominant hand.