SNAP study

SNAP study

SNAP study

Chief investigator: Professor Barnaby Nelson

About 50 per cent of people who develop a psychotic disorder will do so by the time they are in their early 20s, however the ability to predict which high-risk patients will progress to a psychotic disorder is limited.

Research shows that for every 100 young people considered to be at ultra-high risk for psychosis, about a third (30 per cent) will go on to develop a psychotic disorder within three years. But we don't know in advance which third.

Orygen’s Self, Neuroscience and Psychosis (SNAP) study is interested in better predicting the one third of at-risk young people who will develop psychosis. 


The SNAP study will work with three groups:

  1. Young people aged 12–30 years who are at ultra-high risk (UHR) of developing psychosis.
  2. Help-seeking young people aged 12–30 years with psychiatric symptoms but with no psychotic symptoms.
  3. Young people aged 12–30 years who do not have a current or past mental health diagnosis.

Trial participants must be able to attend appointments at Orygen (Parkville, Victoria). 

What does the study involve?

A one-off neurocognition and neurophysiology assessment appointment which:

  • takes about three hours,
  • involves computer-based tasks assessing attention and memory, and
  • involves an electroencephalography (EEG) – a non-invasive test that tracks and records electrical brain activity.

A clinical assessment appointment which:

  • takes about three and a half hours and
  • involves answering questions about everyday life, mood, behaviour and thoughts.

The ultra-high risk group will also be asked to complete four follow-up assessments which:

  • take place every six months,
  • are one to two hours in duration and
  • involve answering questions about everyday life, wellbeing and thoughts.


There is no cost to participating. Participants will be reimbursed for their time – they will receive $130 for completing the initial clinical assessment, the neurocognition assessment and the EEG assessment. Participants in the sub-set of people completing the follow-up assessments will receive additional reimbursement of $50 after the completion of each interview.

Participation in the study is completely voluntary. Orygen researchers will ensure participants have all information about the study before they sign up.

Enrol in the study

If you'd like to enrol in the study or to find out more,  email us: [email protected].