The NeuroKet study aims to understand how ketamine works as an antidepressant medication. To find out, we are looking at brain activity using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans.

Currently recruiting
HREC ethics approval number 2023.034

We are currently recruiting healthy control participants, with no history of mental ill-health, to participate in this study. Participants will be invited to complete an interview, some questionnaires and have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.

This study is investigating differences in brain activity between people with depression who are receiving ketamine treatment, and healthy control participants who are not receiving ketamine treatment.

Anticipated enrolment close date: Mid-2027

Contact us to find out more about this research study, quoting reference number 2023.034 RMH 91301

Who can take part

This study might be right for you if you meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18 to 65
  • Have no current and/or history of mental illness (depression, anxiety, or psychotic disorders)
  • Not taking any psychoactive medication (for example, anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication)
  • Speak English competently

Other inclusion and exclusion criteria may apply, which will be advised upon contact.

What's involved

Participation in this study takes approximately 3 hours in total, and this is usually split across 3 days. There are 3 components to participating in the study:

  • A pre-screening phone call taking approximately 5 minutes.
  • An online screening interview taking approximately 30-40 minutes
  • An in-person MRI scanning session taking approximately 2 hours (1 hour in scanner). Participants are asked to complete a number of tasks in the scanner.

Participants are reimbursed for their time and travel expenses.

Person handling test tubes for research


All research in Australia involving human participants is reviewed by an independent group called a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). The ethical aspects of this research study have been approved by the Royal Melbourne Hospital HREC.

This study is being carried out according to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). This statement protects the interests of people who agree to participate in human research studies.