RESEARCH VOLUNTEERING 8 – THE EFFECTS OF AGEING ON MULTISENSORY INTEGRATION

This piece of research took me to the Psychological Sciences department. They have lots of studies that require human volunteers, and they are all really interesting. This study involved a number of hearing and visual tests, with the aim of looking at how ageing affects the way we process visual and auditory information.

I can’t give away too much information, as the study is ongoing and still recruiting (they are especially keen to find volunteers aged 65+), but I had to don a pair of headphones and respond using a clicker when I heard certain sounds.  There were other things going on during the test, too, like noises that I was not to respond to, but like I said, I can’t give too much away.  There were a number of these tests and also some tests combining a visual stimulus on a screen and a noise.  I was being tested on how I perceived these in relation to each other.

Things I learnt during the test: I have very sensitive hearing (yay!).  I’m more sensitive to sounds at the ends of the spectrum (at the limits of human auditory perception) than those in the mid range.  Yes, this is odd, and the researcher couldn’t explain it.  But that’s the result we measured and it stands.

I also got paid £20 for taking part, and you can too: http://www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/volunteer/display/?id=378933

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