Monash Pregnancy Study

A world-first fMRI study exploring how pregnancy impacts sense of self

About Monash Pregnancy Study

Most people describe their experience of pregnancy as profoundly life-changing. Alongside dramatic physical changes to acommodate a developing foetus, pregnancy is a time of significant cognitive and behavioural adaptations to prepare for birth and a new identity as a parent. 

The Monash Pregnancy Study uses online questionnaires, tests of cognition and sensory processing and fMRI to help better understand the effect of pregnancy on how the brain learns and processes information that contributes to a sense of self.

Who can be part of this study?*

We are now recruiting pregnant women to be part of this exciting study. To take part, you must:

You can sign up to the study at any time during your pregnancy, though testing will take place in your third trimester, from 30 weeks gestation

We are also now recruiting healthy, right-handed women aged 28 to 40 who have never been pregnant and are not currently trying for a baby to be part of our control group.

*List not exhaustive. Please read the explanatory statement for full eligibility criteria

Why is this study important?

We believe that the transition to motherhood (matrescence) represents an important developmental stage, akin to adolescence, and that this is an area of great interest. However, very little is known about this phase of life and its potential to impact wellbeing and quality of life.

This reflects a historical lack of scientific interest in women’s health, and the development of women's brains and behaviours across the lifespan. This study therefore presents a rare and exciting opportunity to contribute to positive, mother-centric research.

Want to know more?

We are happy to answer any of your questions, please reach out to us.

Our team

We are a multidisciplinary team with research and clinical expertise in neuroscience, psychology, fMRI, cognition and philosophy.