Public Speaking Anxiety Study

This study has concluded and is no longer open for recruitment.

The Public Speaking Anxiety study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). This study is being conducted to investigate the process of anxiety and learning, and to evaluate methods for reducing fear, in particular a fear of public speaking. We want to determine whether training for public speaking anxiety can be enhanced with a medication called Scopolamine.

Eligibility Criteria

To participate in the study you must be between the ages of 18 and 55, fluent in English, have a fear of public speaking and be available Monday-Friday from 9-5 (no weekend trainings available). Participants cannot be currently pregnant or experiencing major problems with cognitive, cardiovascular, neurological or respiratory functioning.

Screening Procedures

Interested participants should email their contact information (i.e. name, number, and best time to call) to or call 310-206-9191. Participants are then contacted by study personnel and asked screening questions. If eligible, participants are scheduled for an in-person diagnostic and medical evaluation (approximately 2-3 hours).

Training Procedures

Training is conducted one on one, over 7 visits (about 2 visits a week for 4 weeks). Participants will be randomized to receive the study medication, Scopolamine, or placebo at each visit. All participants enrolled will have their physiological, behavioral, and subjective responses recorded as they give speeches while connected to a virtual reality device. Additionally, assessments are conducted prior to beginning training, at the end of training and then one month later.


Participants will receive a total of $300 for participation. Parking costs are compensated for all visits.

Study Personnel Contact

For further information about this project, contact Richard Kim at 310-825-9312 or

Principal Investigator:s Michelle G. Craske, Ph.D. and Michael Fanselow, Ph.D.

Protocol ID:IRB#13-001028 UCLA IRB Approved Approval Date: 2/9/2017 Through: 2/8/2018 Committee: Medical IRB 3