Welcome Senior Participants!
The Fukuda Lab is proud to be a partner in the Human Communication Lab (HCL) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The HCL has been conducting studies with older adults (age 60+) since 2004!
Researchers from the HCL are interested in learning about changes that occur in cognitive processes throughout the lifespan. The Fukuda Lab, along with the Perception, Action, and Language (PAL) Lab, and the Speech Lab, are invested in examining many processes such as: perception, memory and learning, language and speech, hearing, vision and problem solving. Our aim is to study the nature of the differences that may exist between healthy older and younger adults.
We are currently conducting a study on the metacognition of seniors with regards to the confidence in their memories. Sometimes we have memories we are very confident about but our friend might be very confident about a completely different version of events! How do we make sure that when we are highly confident, our memory is also accurate? We want to make sure we base our behaviours off of accurate memories that we are sure about! This is a computer study that is good exercise for the brain, visit us for a nice workout!
One of our favourite experiments we finished in July 2019 involved the use of the brain cap (electroencephalogram) to look at senior’s brain waves! Participants looked at and remembered over 600 pictures before their memory was tested. Amazingly seniors remembered many pictures, sometimes performing better than younger adults! This study really gave us hope in the strength of memory with healthy aging. To see more results, please take a look at our newsletter below!
Sign Up Online!
We are always actively recruiting volunteers for our studies. The HCL has moved to an online sign-up system. Please click here to be directed to the Psychology Research Sign-Up System where you can create an account to view and select appointment times for current studies in the department! Detailed instructions can be found in the file down below.
Location and Contact Information
We are located in the Communication, Culture, & Technology (CCT) Building in room 4172.
- What is the purpose of your research?
- We do research to learn more about common age-related changes in hearing, vision, memory, and language abilities that might affect communication.
- What are the benefits of your research?
- For our studies you will receive a small honorarium for your participation and you will benefit from learning more about our research in memory and learning. The benefit of contributing to this research helps us to study ways to improve the abilities of older adults to communicate despite natural reductions they may experience in vision or memory. Also, by participating, you will help students learn about how to conduct aging-related research.
- Are there any risks involved?
- There are no immediate risks to your safety. Any potential issues will be outlined in the study descriptions. Our studies never involve any use of drugs or electrical stimulation, and are never invasive. Neither will the studies harm your hearing, vision or memory.
- Will I be able to receive clinical services or can you tell me if I have a problem with my memory, hearing, vision, etc.?
- We do not provide any clinical services to assess or treat problems. Sometimes we may use clinical tests, but they are only used for research purposes. For example, we might test your vision to see if you have the specific type of visual ability that is required for our study.
- Where is the lab located? Can I get there by bus or is there parking available?
- Please see above for the map and directions to the lab. There are a number of Mississauga Transit busses that come directly to the campus, and from there it is a short walk to the lab. (You can check bus schedules online with Mississauga Transit). If you instead drive to the campus, we will give you a free parking pass so that you may park in Parking Level 1 (P1) of the underground CCT building in the spots reserved for Senior Parking. There are also accessibility spots available here as well. These spots are next to the elevator which leads directly to the fourth floor of the CCT. You can request for us to meet you downstairs in the parking lot or we may meet you on the fourth floor Psychology Reception Room (CCT 4012) which is to the right of the elevators.
- What are labs like where the experiments are conducted?
- Some rooms look like offices with computers and tables, while others have sound-treated rooms with special lighting controls. These sound-treated rooms may not be wheelchair accessible, so please let us know if you have any special mobility needs (e.g., wheelchair, walker, cane, etc.). These rooms may also be small and could make people with claustrophobia uncomfortable. If this is a concern, we can find a way to accommodate you if possible.
- How long do studies take? Do I have to come in more than once?
- Studies can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3+ hours. The duration of the study and whether it requires multiple visits will be indicated in the study description.
- Can my spouse or friend come with me?
- You can always bring your spouse or friend even if they do not have appointments with us. We have a large reception room with a view of the forest where your spouse or friend can relax, read a magazine, and enjoy a cup of coffee while they wait.
- What do I do if I am too busy to participate or I cannot make it to my appointment (e.g., if there is an emergency or the weather is unfavourable)?
- Appointments will always be booked at a time that suits you. If you become unavailable for any reason (e.g., something unexpected comes up), you can call us to cancel your appointment and we will gladly reschedule for another time. If there is inclement weather or any other circumstances that make it unsafe for you to come to the university, please do not feel obligated to participate. The researcher may also notify you of any changes on their end.
- Who conducts the experiments?
- A professor (principal investigator) is responsible for every experiment. All of our studies are conducted by highly trained research assistants who may be graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or research associates who are doing their research training with a professor. They may also be an undergraduate student who is taking a research project or thesis course under the supervision of a professor. The experimenters are happy to talk to you about their studies!
- Will I be paid to participate? Will you reimburse my bus or gas fare? Can I donate to your research program?
- We offer an honorarium for you participation at a rate of $15/hour but we do not reimburse participants for their transportation costs. Please ask us if you wish to donate money to the university to support our research (thank you!).
- Do I have a right to a copy of my results? Can I show my results to a physician?
- As a participant, you do have a right to your results, but on their own your results may not have much meaning. Usually, each person contributes only a small part to a large set of data that is collected from a group, and it is the group results that we analyze and use to draw conclusions in our research. The results of most research tests would not be useful to your physician because they are not clinical tests.
- Will my results be anonymous?
- You will never be identified by name in the publications of our research. Since our results are analyzed in terms of group performance, no one person is singled out.
- How can I find out about the results of the research when the study is done?
- Each year, the professors and students publish chapters in books and articles in scientific journals. You may also receive an invitation to public lectures or other events where the research will be presented. You can find newsletters on completed studies here on our website as well!
- How is the research funded?
- Our funding comes from a national research council (the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada) that is awarded to our principal investigator as well as the Connaught Fund from the University of Toronto.