Category Archives: Lab news

Lab news

Listening Experiment

Thank you for your interest in our experiment!

Purpose: to investigate language comprehension in Canadian English speakers

Eligible participants are:

  • Monolingual Canadian English speakers (knowledge of different languages is ok as long as English was the only language spoken at home while growing up)
  • 30 years old and above

Participation includes:

  • Basic hearing test
  • Listening to words and nonwords, pressing a button to indicate “word” or “nonword”, typing words
  • 1 hour participation; $10 Compensation
  • Can participate up to 2 times on separate days

Locations (click on links for directions)

4-02 Assiniboia Hall, North Campus, University of Alberta (a parking space can be made available)

Enterprise Square 2-936A (Jasper Ave and 102 St)

Sign Up Options:

  1. Call us at 780-248-1409
  2. Email us at
  3. Create a SONA account to view and select timeslots that are most convenient for your schedule.

Creating a SONA account

  1. Go to:
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click on the big green “Request Account” button
    1. You will fill in the blanks to create an ID name.
    2. Your Password will then be sent to the email you filled in.
  3. Once you’ve received your password, log onto your account. You can then go to “My Profile” and change your password to something you will remember.
    • Enter 0 for your student ID
    • Enter ‘NONE’ when asked to select your courses
  4. Once you’ve logged into SONA click the big green “View Available Studies” button.
  5. You can then choose between two study titles:
    • Decades – Is this a word…? – ASSINIBOIA”
    • “Decades – Is this a word…? – DOWNTOWN”
      Both of these studies are exactly the same, they only differ by location. The “Assiniboia” location is on the University of Alberta North Campus and the “Downtown” location is located in Enterprise Square on Jasper Ave. Click on the study that provides the best location for you.
  6. Read the study information carefully to make sure you meet the requirements for this particular study.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the study and click the green button that says “View time slot for this study”
  8. You will then be able to view ALL of the available time slots. Click the green “Sign Up” button to select that specific time and day.


If for any reason you need to cancel or change the timeslot that you signed up for,

  1. Click “My Schedule/Credits” found on the green header near the top of the page.
  2. You will then be able to view all of the timeslots you are signed up for. Simply click the green “Cancel” button on the right of the particular study.
  3. Scroll down and click “Yes I want to cancel” to complete your cancellation.

MALD: Massive Auditory Lexical Decision

How do humans recognize speech? How do factors such as native language, age, and dialect have an effect on the way in which words are recognized? A common concern among people as they get older is age related decline; in other words, does our cognitive ability decline with age? Ramscar et al. (2014) show that it may not be the case that older readers are slower due to cognitive decline. Will similar result be found for listeners when they hear language? Additionally, interactions with speakers of other dialects can be a relatively common occurrence. How is it that there are some dialects that are easy to understand and that other dialects are more difficult to understand? Are there aspects of these dialects that are more difficult to adapt to than others (Clarke & Garrett, 2004)? The present proposal seeks to
investigate these and other questions regarding spoken language recognition. There are many ways in which answers to these questions can be found, one way is by creating and conducting large studies.

This megastuIMG_5507dy contains over 26,000 words and 9,600 non-words from a male speaker of Western Canadian English. Participants (largely from Edmonton, AB) will span ages ranging from 20-70 years. Participants will also be expanded to include additional dialect regions (Arizona, USA; Nova Scotia; New Zealand).

This project will contribute to the ongoing investigation of language comprehension. Novel and
theoretical contributions emerging from this research program:
– testing and creation of models of spoken word recognition
– creation of an open source dataset which can be used by a wide range of researchers
– insight into how age related anatomical changes in the voice affect spoken word recognition
– insight into how aging affects spoken word recognition
– insight into how dialect affects spoken word recognition