fMRI Tasks and Tools

The task-based fMRI scans require special stimulus presentation and response collection equipment and software. All ABCD fMRI tasks are currently programmed in E-Prime Professional 2.0 versions or later and work reliably for PC Windows 8.1 or earlier.

The tasks and stimuli are available for download here and are free to be used by others for their own research projects. When referencing these tasks be sure to use the provided citations. By downloading these tools you agree to using them for educational and research purposes only.

ABCD Study: fMRI Tasks

Casey, B. J., Cannonier, T., Conley, M. I., Cohen, A. O., Barch, D. M., Heitzeg, M. M., … & Orr, C. A. (2018). The adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study: imaging acquisition across 21 sites. Developmental cognitive neuroscience.

Monetary Incentive Delay Task
When referring to the ABCD monetary incentive task in publications or talks, please cite:
Knutson B, Westdorp A, Kaiser E, Hommer D (2000) FMRI visualization of brain activity during a monetary incentive delay task. NeuroImage 12: 20–27. To download the following, please right click and select “open link in new tab.”

Stop Signal Task
When referring to the ABCD stop signal task in publications or talks, please cite:
Logan GD (1994) On the ability to inhibit thought and action: A users’ guide to the stop signal paradigm. In D. Dagenbach & T. H. Carr (Eds), Inhibitory processes in attention, memory, and language: 189-239. San Diego: Academic Press

This updated version of the STOP task program addresses the issues arising from the Bissett critique (Bissett et al., eLife 2021). The changes to the task include: 1) fixing glitches that arise from fast responses, 2) not letting the SSD fall below 50msec, 3) ensuring that the Stop signal duration is always 300 msec and 4) fixing the trial coding errors. Please refer to the response to the Bissett critique for more details (  Due to limitations piloting the scanner version of the task (sites being closed during the pandemic), users are encouraged to report to ABCD’s helpdesk any bugs or issues related to task length, equipment or different Windows and e-prime versions.

Emotional N-Back Task
When referring to the ABCD emotional n-back task in publications or talks, please cite:
Cohen, A.O., Conley, M.I., Dellarco, D.V., Casey, B.J. (November, 2016). The impact of emotional cues on short-term and long-term memory during adolescence. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA. (Please check for the updated publication). To download the following, please right click and select “open link in new tab.”

RADIATE Emotional Face Stimulus Set
By downloading these stimuli, I agree to use them solely for approved institutional research or educational purposes and to not use them in any way to deliberately or inadvertently identify the individuals in the pictures.

When referring to these stimuli in publications or talks, please cite:
Conley, M. I., Dellarco, D. V., Rubien-Thomas, E., Cohen, A. O., Cervera, A., Tottenham, N., & Casey, B. J. (2018). The racially diverse affective expression (RADIATE) face stimulus set. Psychiatry research.


Tottenham, N, Tanaka, JW, Leon, AC, McCarry, T, Nurse, M, Hare, TA, Marcus, DJ, Westerlund, A, Casey, BJ & Nelson, C. (2009). The NimStim set of facial expressions: Judgments from untrained research participants. Psychiatry Research 168 (3) 242-249.