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Welcome to the Language Across the Lifespan Project!

Did you know that every month more than 80% of people who watch Netflix use closed captions or subtitles at least once?

Even people who hear well can find it challenging to keep up with the rapid pace of dialogue. This can be true in life outside the screen too. Have you ever been asked to repeat something you said or to speak slower during a conversation with friends or family? Maybe you've come across a time yourself when the words seemed to flit by so fast that, try as you might, you couldn't quite catch their meaning the first time through. 

Difficulty understanding speech even when it is clearly heard is actually really common. This is because the ears' job of hearing the sounds of someone talking are just the first step in understanding what's being said. Afterward, the brain still has a lot of work to do in order to turn these sounds into information that means something. But what exactly does the brain need to do in order to make this happen, and why does the challenge of following fast paced conversations increase as the years go by even if a person's hearing remains about the same?    

That's what we're here to find out! Our study examines age-related changes in the dynamics of spoken word recognition. We invite participants to our lab to complete eye-tracking tasks and standardized assessments so that we may investigate these questions and explore possible answers. Our study also includes online questionnaires, which can be completed either remotely or in lab. 

We have three research locations. For our Iowa City participants, we have a lab in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Building at the University of Iowa and another in the General Hospital at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. For our Cedar Rapids participants, we have a third lab that can be found on 1st Ave NE.

We offer evening and weekend hours as well as financial compensation for participation.

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