The ASP Lab is actively seeking volunteers to participate in these current research studies.

Understanding Complaints of Hearing Loss

Do you have trouble hearing or understanding conversations in noisy places? Participate in a study to help understand hearing difficulties and develop new tests of hearing!
At the beginning of the study, participants will have a standard hearing test to determine eligibility. A licensed Audiologist will explain the results and participants are welcome to keep a copy for their records at no charge. If qualification criteria are met, participants will complete surveys, listening and speech understanding tasks, brief memory and attention tasks, and an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test. The ABR is a clinical test that measures a response from the hearing nerve as sounds are played to the ear.
The study takes 2-3 hours to complete.

  • Who: Adults who have difficulties hearing or understanding conversations in noisy environments
  • Ages: 19 – 55
  • Compensation: $20/hour (cash)
  • Visit type: In-person
  • Location: Boys Town Medical Campus – Downtown (555 N. 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131)
  • Requirements: Participants must have no diagnosed moderate to severe hearing loss or history of hearing aid use, no colorblindness, no know neurological or cognitive disorders, and be native speakers of English

Schedule an appointment to participate:
Contact the ASP Lab by email ( or phone (531) 355-6373.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to come to the lab for one appointment lasting 2-3 hours. During the appointment, you will be asked to do some of the following tasks.

    Volunteer taking test

      Standard Hearing Test:

      • This test measures how well you hear soft sounds.
      • You will hear sounds presented through earphones and click a button when you hear the sounds.
      • This test takes 10-30 minutes.


      • You will be asked questions about your ears and hearing history.
      • You will be asked about your experience hearing and listening in different situations and about your quality of life.
      • These tasks take about 15 minutes.

      Speech Understanding Task:

      • This task measures your ability to understand someone talking while other people are talking in the background
      • You will hear multiple voices talking at the same time and will try to focus on only one of them. You will type out what that voice says on the computer.
      • You will rate how effortful the different levels are by answering a questionnaire.
      • This task takes about 45-90 minutes.

      Memory and Attention tasks:

      • These tasks measure your ability to pay attention and remember what you see and hear.
      • You may be asked to:
        • remember patterns
        • repeat back lists of words
        • Volunteer taking a memory test

      Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Task:

      • This test tells us how well the hearing nerve in your brain responds to sounds.
      • Four small surface sensors will be placed onto your head and held in place by tape or paste.
      • Small tips will be placed in your ear canal.
      • You will rest quietly (either sitting or reclining) in a dimly lit room.
      • This procedure has been used to test hearing in infants and young children in clinical settings for many years.
      • This test takes 15 - 45 minutes
      • Volunteer taking hearing test

      The earphone produces sounds and the sensors pick up responses at different locations on the pathway from your ear to your brain. The responses are sent to a computer and result in a display that looks like a waveform with peaks and valleys.

  • You will be compensated $20.00/hour in cash at the end of the appointment.

  • If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to come in for one appointment lasting 2-3 hours.

  • We are located at Boys Town National Research Hospital at 555 N. 30th St., Omaha, NE 68131 on the 3rd Floor.

  • We schedule most of our visits Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Alternate times may be arranged individually if necessary.

  • Schedule an appointment to participate:
    Contact the ASP Lab by email ( or phone (531) 355-6373.

  • Given that COVID-19 and other illnesses are continuing to affect Nebraskans, you will want to know about our safety practices. Please reschedule your appointment if you feel ill. We will contact you and reschedule appointments if anyone in the lab is ill. We disinfect all surfaces in the lab and wash/sanitize our hands before and after each visit. We are requesting that no more than one additional person accompany you to your scheduled appointment.

    Masking remains a priority at Boys Town National Research Hospital and Clinics. This practice continues to be the healthcare community standard in our area. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.