The NKI Rockland Sample Initiative

The NKI Rockland Sample Initiative (NKI-RS) is an ongoing community-based research program. Residents of Rockland County and neighboring areas have been partnering with our research team to contribute to the advancement of brain science since 2011.

Our goal is to understand how the brain develops over the lifespan and how our physical health and brain structure and function is connected to our thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Results from these studies are shared with qualified research scientists around the world for scientific discovery. We hope that the knowledge gained will help people get healthy and stay healthy.

There are currently two active NKI-RS studies: The Rockland Sample II: Community Lifespan Study, and The COVID Survey Study. The major sources of funding for the NKI Rockland Sample Initiative are provided by the US National Institutes of Health and the NY State Office of Mental Health.

Location and scheduling

The research program takes place at the Nathan Kline Institute (NKI) in Orangeburg, NY, which is easily accessible by car or municipal bus routes. Studies typically include full day visits to our institute that can also be divided into shorter visits to assist with scheduling. We make every effort to provide study days and times that are convenient for our participants and offer weekend and weekday scheduling options. The total number of visits varies based on the current studies.

Participants’ activities

NKI-RS studies generally include questionnaires, interviews about emotions and life experiences, cognitive tests (e.g. memory and attention, math and spelling), questions and measurements related to physical health (e.g. height, weight, bicycle fitness assessment), EEG and an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. EEGs and the type of MRI for our studies are non-invasive and use no radiation or dyes.

Participants’ results

Our clinical research team is available to discuss results from study procedures and provide personalized feedback upon request. This may include feedback about bloodwork, MRI scans, and cognitive testing.


Participants’ confidential health information is protected by a Certificate of Confidentiality from the US Government. Scientific results that are shared with qualified research scientists will not include any personal identifying information.


Payment for participation varies according to the study. Refreshments are provided on full-day visits and most transportation costs are reimbursed.


The Rockland Sample II: Community Lifespan Study

The COVID Survey Study


The Adult Longitudinal Study

The Child Longitudinal Study

The Neurofeedback Study

The Discovery Science Study

The Rockland Sample Pilot Study

If you are interested in participating in the Initiative, please call (845) 835-3008 or contact us here.