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Processing of Intensity Changes in Sounds

Newcastle University

Processing of Intensity Changes in Sounds

Study participant posted 4 weeks ago


16:00 - Thursday 1 June, 2023


approximately 2 hours




£15 Cash and any travel expenses (will need to see a receipt/know the postcode from which you travelled if you travel by car)


This opportunity is looking for people who are:

  • 40 - 80 yrs old
  • female


Newcastle University Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2 4HH


The basis of the study is automatic predictions made by the brain in the processing of sounds. Forming predictions is a fundamental part of how we perceive the world, and helps us focus on what is important and ignore what is irrelevant. A specific hypothesis of the study is that our brains use this kind of automatic prediction to suppress a noise signal originating at a low level in the hearing pathway, and that in tinnitus this mechanism is less effective (but not generally ineffective) whereas in hyperacusis it may be overly active. By presenting specific sequences of sounds, and measuring electrical brain responses to these, we aim to detect and measure this prediction mechanism in the brain and see how it differs between people with and without tinnitus and/or hyperacusis. 

You will be asked to:

  • have a quick hearing test (you can see your results if you would like to) (up to 10 minutes);
  • complete a computer task in which we will establish a comfortable level of tones that you will be listening to during the main EEG recording (up to 10 minutes);
  • have the EEG recording, which should take approximately 1 hour (you can take breaks if you need to; there will also be a 20 minute set up of the equipment prior to recording).

By taking part, you would be helping to better understand tinnitus, a common and unsolved medical condition, in a way that might lead to improved treatments. Some volunteers find it an interesting experience to take part in this type of research. We also will reimburse any reasonable travel expenses incurred, on top of which volunteers receive a participation fee of £15.

Appointments will be arranged for a convenient time between you and the researcher.

We are looking for females only to take part so that they can be matched to control participants.

About EEG:

In this, a fabric cap is placed over your head, and a number of spots of gel placed in this (a similar consistency to hair gel, which will remain in your hair until washed out with water). This cap records the electrical signals your brain naturally generates. This takes around 20 minutes to set up, and then runs for around 60 minutes. The most important things you need to do during the EEG session are to stay awake, keep your eyes open, and keep your head, face, neck and body in a relaxed state. As the experiments measure automatic responses to the sounds, we intend that you will be able to watch a subtitled movie of your choice during the experiments. However, it is possible that, in order to make the brain responses clearer, we will need to ask you to perform a simple task, such as pressing a button whenever one of the beeps is slightly shorter than the others.


Health & Wellbeing

Where to go

Newcastle University Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2 4HH, United Kingdom

What you'll receive


£15 Cash and any travel expenses (will need to see a receipt/know the postcode from which you travelled if you travel by car)


Hosted by Ekaterina Yukhnovich

Member since 1 Nov 2019
I am in the writing up stage of a PhD on a predictive-coding based potential biomarker for tinnitus in humans, using EEG. I am continuing this project in the role of a research assistant. I am based in Newcastle University to carry out EEG/behavioural studies, and in UCL to carry out MEG/MRI studies.
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Newcastle University

Joined in Mar 2023

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