Research Participants Wanted for Hearing Loss Research
We are looking for participants with or without hearing loss (depending on their age, please read inclusion criteria carefully) to take part in our study of speech perception.
Hearing loss affects 11 million (1 in 6) people in the UK. One of the most common complaints people report when seeking help for their hearing is the difficulty of perceiving speech in noise, especially in the presence of other competing speakers. Listening to speech under challenging conditions is particularly difficult for both hard-of-hearing and hearing individuals. Both groups, however, make use of their vision to assist their listening ability. We want to investigate what visual information from the face of the talker contribute to this listening benefit. Identifying those could lead to targeted training, which might allow people with hearing loss to benefit more by vision in noisy environments.
If you would like to contribute to our hearing loss research, you would be doing so by running a set of speech perception-related tasks in a single visit at the UCL Ear Institute, 332 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8EE, which is a 5-minute walk from King’s Cross station.
You will be paid £10/hour for your time (usually a total of around £30 for the whole session), which is above average payment for this type of experiment. Your travel expenses will also be covered, and you will get a free hearing screening – in fact, you will be paid to have it!
To take part, you must meet all criteria listed below:
You should be a native speaker of English.
You should be aged 18 or over. Please check the 'hearing status' criteria below, as hearing criteria are different depending on whether you are under or over 40 years old.
If you are under 40 years old, you can only take part if you have hearing loss. Specifically, mild and/or up to and inclusive of moderate hearing loss.
If you are over 40 years old, you can take part if:
You have normal hearing.
You have hearing loss. Specifically, mild and/or up to and inclusive of moderate hearing loss.
You should have no neurological/psychiatric/developmental conditions (such as epilepsy, ADHD, other).
You should have no language-related difficulties (difficulty producing language correctly and difficulty understanding written/oral language).
You should have vision that is normal or corrected-to-normal (glasses/contact lenses).
You should have no intrusive tinnitus (i.e. no intrusive ringing in the ears).
If you have any questions about the criteria, please don’t hesitate to contact us (contact information at the end). Please see below for a brief description of the tasks involved.
Speech in noise discrimination task: In this task will listen over headphones and pay attention to a target talker while ignoring other speakers in the background. You would need to report what they said from several options on a computer screen by using a mouse. In some trials you will also see the face of the person whose voice you are trying to listen to. You would have two chances to pass the practice session. If you don't, then the experimentation process would, unfortunately, have to stop there, but you will be compensated for your time till that point.
Audiogram: In this test, you will wear headphones and would need to press a button when you hear a sound. This will allow us to measure the softest sounds you can hear, and thus your hearing sensitivity.
Lip-reading task: In this task you will watch silent videos of someone talking. You will have to guess what they were saying from several options presented on a screen. The test will include single words, as well as short sentences.
People complete this study in 2.5-3 hours. This is the total time of testing which includes welcoming, instructions, demonstration tasks, practice sessions and breaks when you need them.
If you are eligible, or have any questions about the inclusion criteria please contact us either via email (preferred, at any time), or phone (between 0930 – 1800):