PARTICIPATE IN OUR RESEARCH
We are interested in understanding how we perceive sound and speech, what brain mechanisms give rise to our ability to hear and comprehend speech, and what happens when we develop hearing challenges as we age. Our research is only possible through the immense support of our research participants devoting their time and energy. We are extremely grateful for the research participants helping to advance scientific knowledge and clinical outcomes.
If you are interested in taking part as a participant in one or several of our research studies, please fill out the brief form below and we will get in touch with you shortly. You will learn about our research questions and research technologies (such as non-invasive brain recording techniques), and we will compensate you for your time. See also the brief descriptions of ongoing research below.
Our research is concerned with speech and sound perception across the lifespan into older adulthood, and so we welcome all people aged 18 years and older. Our research takes place at Baycrest Health Sciences in north Toronto, Canada.
We will never share your personal information with or sell it to any third parties. This confidential information will only be used to contact you about our current studies. You could also use Baycrest's participant registration form.
Examples of currently ongoing research projects
Eyes as a window onto listening effort
Understanding speech in noisy situations, such as a crowded restaurant, becomes increasingly challenging and effortful as we grow older and many of us develop hearing impairment. If we could measure this listening effort objectively, this could help us better characterize hearing impairment and maybe diagnose it earlier. It turns out that our eyes, specifically our pupil sizes, provide insights in how much we struggle during listing. In several ongoing projects we study the factors that contribute to listening effort by recording people's eyes while they listen to speech.
Neural processing of naturalistic speech
In order for us to understand speech, it must be processed well in the brain. We have currently several ongoing research projects that focus on how our brains process acoustic properties (associated with loudness and pitch) and semantic context (associated with meaning) of naturalistic, spoken stories. We investigate this question using electroencephalography (a non-invasive brain recording technique) and behavioral methods in younger and older adults.
Brain mechanisms underlying sound perception
Perception of sounds drastically changes as we age. Sounds maybe more distracting as they used to be and they may feel louder than when we were younger. What happens in the brain that gives rise to such perceptual changes? In several ongoing research projects, we investigate how our brains respond to sounds when we attend to them or ignore them, how our brains enable us to detect meaningful structure in sounds (e.g., sound repeating pattern), and what happens when these fundamental processes do not work as well any more as we age. We use non-invasive brain recording techniques and behavioral methods to investigate these questions in younger and older adults.