Participant Information

 Experienced Cochlear Implant Users

The purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of speech and environmental sounds by listeners who have cochlear implants. We are developing a new training program to help individuals who have just received a cochlear implant learn how to hear with their devices. We are interested in testing the perceptual abilities of experienced cochlear implant users to compare with our training group.

If you would like to participate in this study, we would give you a variety of short tasks during a one-time testing session, which will be about 2 hours long. The appointment would take place at the Speech and Cognition Research Laboratory at St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota. The main criteria for participation are that you have at least 1 cochlear implant which you have used for a minimum of 1 year, are between the ages of 18 and 75, and live within 100 miles of the lab. You will be paid $15.00 per hour for your participation in this study. Parking is free, and we will also be able to reimburse you for transportation costs to and from your home to our lab in the amount of 56 cents per mile. You will receive a check for your participation and mileage reimbursement 10-15 days after participation. If you decide to withdraw from the study, you will still receive the full payment for your time and transportation reimbursement.

If you need more information before deciding if you are willing to participate, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me at (loebach at stolaf dot edu) to schedule an appointment or to ask questions about the project. We would be very grateful for your participation in this important study of the perceptual abilities of individuals with cochlear implants.

 New Cochlear Implant Users

We are also interested in working with new (as well as experienced) cochlear implant users on our training program. From what we have observed in the lab, many experienced cochlear implant users could benefit from our training program. So if you were recently implanted, or have an implant (or two) and want to be challenged, please contact us at  (loebach at stolaf dot edu) and we can discuss options. We have a beta version of the program on the physical computers and are working to port it to the internet, so eventually you would be able to work completely from home.

 Talkers

Given that our training program relies on speech samples, we find that we need a large number of recordings. One of our goals is to recreate the conditions that people with cochlear implants experience in their daily lives, which includes talkers from a variety of regions with a variety of speaking styles and accents. As a result, we are seeking to record talkers for a speech database. The recordings will be anonymized and played for participants in future studies. Participation in the study would include about 30 minutes of reading sentences and words and $5 compensation.  All recordings are done in the SCogLab at St. Olaf College, so we are primarily looking for individuals who live in and around the Northfield community.

We need English speakers (though not necessarily native speakers) from all region of the United States and World. If you meet the following requirements, please email (loebach at stolaf dot edu)  to find out more information!
For native English speakers:
  • Are an adult over the age of 18
  • have lived outside your home region for less than 5 years
(For example: You would qualify to participate if you grew up in Texas and lived there until you came to college; You would NOT qualify to participate if you moved from California to Illinois at age 13 and then came to Minnesota for college because you have been out of California for more than 5 years)
For non-native English speakers:
  • Are an adult over the age of 18
  • have lived in the United States for less than 5 years as a child
  • have lived in the United States for longer as an adult, but still have a pronounced accent in English