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Call for research study participants - Department of Psychology

(27 April 2018)

The Department of Psychology is recruiting participants for two ongoing research studies. The first is a neurostimulation study in which you will be asked to complete a simple auditory perception task during three separate 50 minute sessions. You will be rewarded with £20 Amazon voucher for taking part. The second will consider ‘Speech Perception and Unusual Experiences’ and will consist of two auditory computer-based tasks and will last approximately two hours. You will receive 120 minutes Participant Pool credit for taking part. To participate, please email kaja.j.mitrenga@durham.ac.uk.

Neurostimulation study – Amazon Voucher rewards

Hearing the Voice is looking for participants aged 18-35 to take part in a neurostimulation study. The study takes place in the Durham City Psychology department, and involves completing three sessions, separated by approximately one week in time, each lasting about 50 minutes. You will be asked to complete a simple auditory perception task during each session, which requires you to listen to bursts of random noise, and listen out for specific sounds in the noise. 

The experiment also uses a neurostimulation technique, known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). This technique involves the application of an electrical current over the scalp for 15 minutes. The current is applied through two electrodes, one of which is strapped to your head, and other to your upper arm. The technique is completely safe and painless – participants generally report feeling a mild tingling sensation underneath the electrodes, which usually lasts for less than 1 minute. To participate:

  • You must be aged 18-35.
  • You must be right-handed.
  • You must not have any diagnosed hearing problems.
  • You must be a fluent English speaker
  • All metallic objects (eg, earrings) and hair products (eg, gel or hairspray) must be removed from your head before participation. 

For taking part, you will be rewarded with £20 Amazon voucher. Please email Dr Kaja Mitrenga if you’re interested in taking part (kaja.j.mitrenga@durham.ac.uk).

Speech Perception and Unusual Experiences

We are looking for participants to take part in an auditory experiment investigating the associations between perception of one’s own speech and unusual perceptual experiences. The study consists of two auditory computer based tasks. One of the tasks requires recording your voice during reading a list of words (the recordings will be destroyed at the end of the session).

The experiment will involve measuring the electrical activity of lip muscles. In order to do that, we will use a technique called electromyography (EMG). EMG is a safe, non-invasive procedure that does not involve any form of electrical stimulation. If you decide to take part, we will place two small electrodes above and below your lips. We will use a special skin preparation gel on the skin area to prepare the skin for electrode placement

The study takes approximately 120 minutes to complete (you will be given 120 minutes Participant Pool credit for taking part). To participate,

  • You must be aged between 18 to 65.
  • You must have no uncorrectable hearing impairments.
  • You must have no history of diagnosed neurological or psychiatric disorders.
  • You must have no history of residual facial nerve damage due to maxillo-facial reconstruction, soft-tissue surgery, or following surgery to remove an acoustic neuroma.

If you would like to book in a testing session, please contact Dr Kaja Mitrenga (kaja.j.mitrenga@durham.ac.uk).