UCL News


Participants with hearing loss required for UCL brain research study

28 January 2014

We need participants to take part in brain imaging studies aiming to help discover why some people with hearing loss develop tinnitus and others do not.


Participants should have hearing loss but it is important they do not have tinnitus (long-term ringing in the ears). Specifically, we need people who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Male and age 55-69, or female and age 50-64.
  • Mild or moderate high-frequency hearing loss in both ears.

The hearing loss of volunteers should have at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Be classified as 'mild' by an audiologist.
  • Be enough to impair hearing in some everyday situations (perhaps only slightly), but not enough to prevent conversation from taking place in a quiet environment, even without a hearing aid.
  • If a hearing aid is used, participants should still be able to hold a conversation in a quiet environment without using it or relying heavily on lip reading.

Additionally, none of the following criteria should apply:

  • A neurological illness (such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or strokes)
  • The use of anti-epileptic or benzodiazepine medications
  • Any condition preventing you from lying flat or sitting very still for up to an hour
  • Any tattoos
  • Pregnancy
  • Previous surgery that might have left metal inside the body
  • Any past instance where metal splinters might have entered the eye, lungs or been lodged under the skin.

The study takes four hours in total and involves the following:

  • Completion of questionnaires
  • A hearing test
  • Some sound tests using a computer
  • A magnetoencephalography (MEG) scan. This is similar to electroencephalography (EEG) in that it measures the brainwaves your brain generates.
  • A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

The study is being run by researchers at UCL in collaboration with Newcastle University, and is funded by the Medical Research Council. The study has ethical approval and takes place at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG.

All aspects of the study are safe and non-invasive, and volunteers generally find it an interesting experience. We can reimburse travel expenses, and provide a £40 payment for your time.

Volunteers only need to come once for the experiment. Currently we have the following appointments available. We may be able to arrange an alternative appointment if neither of these is suitable:

  • 20 February 2014: 10:00am-3:00pm (includes a one hour break 1:00pm-2:00pm)
  • 20 February 2014: 3:00pm-7:00pm.

For more information please contact William Sedley or Sundeep Teki.

Sundeep Teki PhD, Auditory Cognition Group, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL