Wanted: Right-handed, English-speaking male cannabis smokers aged between 18 and 45 for a university study on brain activity.
But cannabis users who sign up for the study — looking at reactions to risk and reward — must lay off cannabis during the trial.
Auckland University recreational drug scientist Dr Bruce Russell said the research would examine whether regular recreational cannabis use affected decision-making, pitting students with little or no history of cannabis use against those using at least twice a week.
For around $20 an hour students will have their brain activity monitored to compare activity associated with thought processes when they're sober.
"We're not giving anyone any drugs — we just want to see what the effects might be," said Russell.
Each participant would be connected to an electroencephalograph (EEG) by electrodes fitted to their scalp.
Brain activity would be monitored while participants went through a series of tests on a touch-screen computer.
"It's a modified gambling task to try to differentiate the evaluation of risk versus reward," said Russell.
"We're looking to see if it [regular cannabis use] affects people's ability to judge risk or make them engage in slightly riskier behaviours than they might normally."
Russell said all participants would be given a toxicology test. For the study to be reliable, it was important participants were not under the influence of any illicit drug or alcohol.
Russell said participants needed to be in good health and not suffering from mental or neurological disorders including epilepsy or psychosis. Everyone needed to be right-handed to avoid confusion in reading electrical activity.
- Herald on Sunday