Current Projects

The Ear-Brain Network and Listening in Background Noise

Purpose of research

This research is being done to better understand how measurements of inner ear and brain activity correspond with sound perception.


Who can participate?

Males and females ages 18-40 with a healthy hearing history, speak English as their first language, and are right-handed. Eligibility is determined through a brief e-mail survey and a quick hearing screening performed at our lab.


Study procedures

The study will take place in a large, quiet sound booth measuring approximately 200 square feet. We will first ask you several questions about your ears and hearing. We will then perform a routine hearing screening and ear check. If you pass the screening, we will proceed to the experimental measurements.

For some experiments, you will sit in a comfortable chair while we play sounds through earbuds. We will measure a response coming from your inner ear by using a tiny microphone placed inside one of the earbuds. You will just need to sit quietly while watching a closed-captioned video of your choice.

For other experiments, you will sit in a comfortable chair and listen to words or sentences played through earbuds. You will make responses about what you heard on a touch screen monitor.



We pay $5 per 30 minutes of testing. Visits last between 1 to 2 hours. You will receive cash at the end of each visit. You may be invited to return for multiple visits.


If interested in participating, please e-mail us at


Ian Mertes looking through window at test subject sitting in easy chair