Current Studies

Effects of Emotional Prosody on Working Memory of Younger and Older Adults

The purpose of this study is to determine if older adults are more distracted than younger adults by emotionally spoken, irrelevant speech. If you participate in this study you will be asked to perform some working memory tests. These tests will require you to sequence strings of letter and numbers, complete some mental arithmetic questions, and repeat sequences of numbers aloud. In one auditory phase, we will ask you to listen to groups of sentences presented through headphones, to recall the last word of these sentences, and repeat them back in serial order.  The number of sentences in each block will increase until you are no longer able to recall all of the target words.  Each block of sentences will be in a different emotional tone.  In another auditory phase, you will be asked to count asterisks (*) on a computer screen.  You will be required to count forward and backward while you listen to distracting speech through headphones. There will the three distracting speech conditions and one silence condition.

Auditory Integration in Aging: The Effects of Timing

The purpose of this study is to assess the mechanism responsible for integrating different auditory signals into a coherent whole and the temporal characteristics of this mechanism. In this experiment, you will be asked to identify the final word of each sentence that you will hear through headphones.  These sentences have been digitally modified to remove all but a narrow band of sound frequencies at 4000 Hz and at 500 Hz. Your task is to identify (by saying aloud) the last word of each sentence immediately after the sentence has been presented.