Volunteer

We are currently recruiting a variety of participants for our studies at Boston University. Participants will be reimbursed $20/hour for their involvement. Studies may involve speech, swallowing or hand and arm function. The goal of this work is to understand the correlation between non-invasive objective measures and qualitative measures of motor function. Please see the criteria below and contact stepplab@gmail.com for more information about participation.

Who we are looking for:

  • Volunteers between the ages of 4-100 years with no history of voice, speech, hearing, swallowing, or upper extremity disorder and no history of neurological disease or stroke.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 4-100 years who have a voice disorder related to spasmodic dysphonia or to vocal hyperfunction like vocal nodules, muscle tension dysphonia, or vocal fold polyp.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 4-100 years who have velopharyngeal dysfunction due to mislearning or muscle weakness.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 18-100 years who have Parkinson’s Disease and are willing to be tested both ON and OFF medication.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 18-100 years who have suffered a stroke and have subsequent problems with their swallowing but are not currently enrolled in swallowing therapy.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 18-100 years who have paralysis due to spinal injury, neurological disease, or stroke.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 18-100 who majored in or are currently majoring in music theory, music performance, or similar.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 18-100 with expert knowledge of voice and voice disorders i.e. speech language pathologists and otolaryngologists with greater than 5 years of clinical voice experience.

You may be asked to:

  • Produce speech
  • Voluntarily contract your hand, arm, neck or facial muscles
  • Produce dry swallows
  • Fill out motor function and quality of life scales
  • Listen to and rate speech samples

The following types of data may be collected:

  • Acoustics using a microphone
  • Electromyography to non-invasively detect electrical signals from your muscles from the surface of the skin
  • Body movement and force

Voice Therapy

The Boston University Academic Speech, Language & Hearing Center offers voice therapy! Our expert voice clinician is Adrianna Shembel. If you have been diagnosed with a voice disorder like nodules or muscle tension dysphonia, or if you have problems with your voice and speech because of Parkinson’s disease, please contact Fina Jervis, senior program coordinator, at 617-353-3188 for more information.