Volunteers' day

Wednesday 18 Oct 17
by Eva Helena Andersen
Like last year, the Hearing Systems’ researchers invited all the people that have participated in their experiments this year. The event which took place on October 10, gave the researchers the opportunity to thank the test persons and to tell them more about the experiments they took part in.

About fifty guests, volunteers, relatives and friends of test persons, participated in the event which took place in the laboratories. Audiologist Rikke Sørensen welcomed all and thanked them for their contribution to the research, which is very important for the work on this field.
All the volunteers had the chance to go for a tour to see a demonstration in the laboratories and get information about some the projects where the researchers explained their scientific posters.

One of the volunteers, Jan Svane Jacobsen had brought his wife Lisbet.
Jan Svane Hansen had signed up at the webpage and was approached for a test when his profile fitted in one of the ongoing research projects. So far, he has participated in three listening tests.

Jan got hearing aids eight years ago but hasn’t really been using them.

- I have some problems hearing some of the consonants, Jan explains.
For one of his listening tests, a computer program changed the length of consonants. Then the researcher changed the program and prolonged the sound of the consonants in one of the experiments, and there was a significant difference.
- I believe that there must be other people having the same problem so that would be a good idea for future development of hearing aids, Jan said.

One of the poster projects who attracted many of the guests was about ‘turn taking’ in conversations between people to understand how hearing loss influences communication.
PhD student Anna Josefine Sørensen explained about some
cognitive challenges.
- What do you think happens for the person talking when there’s more noise in a room? she asked.
- It's interesting because you actually talk faster when you are challenged.
- Maybe you try to talk faster to stop the noise, a guest suggested.
- That is indeed possible, but in fact it took the participants significantly longer to solve the communication task in noise. What I found was that they pace up their speed of talking with 25 percent and hold their turns 40 percent longer, Josefine said.
- It is a commonly known political phenomenon that you fill in the gaps of your speech stream with “uhm” to hold your turn, another guest added and the crowd laughed.

Five certificates of recognition were given this time:
Sanne Nielsen got the award for spending the longest time on transportation to participate in the tests, Grete Boisen for the most enthusiastic volunteer, Peter Nielsen for being the most curious volunteer, Mathias Bruun for bringing most friends to participate in listening tests. Finally, the coffee machine got the award for being the most disappointing and unstable participant. With the awards came some nice boxes of chocolate.

Everybody is welcome to join the volunteers. Read more here (in Danish)


1. Many people payed attention to Anna Josefine Sørensen’s poster presentation about turn taking in conversations. Photo: Niclas Janßen.
What do you think happens for the person talking when there’s more noise in a room? Josefine asked. Photo: Eva Helena Andersen.
3. Volunteer Jan Svane Hansen had brought his wife Lisbeth who actually previously has worked at DTU at another department. Photo: Eva Helena Andersen.
4. Many of the volunteers had a chance to talk more detailed to the researchers about their projects.
5. Rikke Sørensen, Audiologist (rightmost) welcomed everybody. To her left, it’s Project Administrator Katrine Bang Termansen who handed over the awards. Photo: Niclas Janßen.
6. Sanne Nielsen with the award for spending the longest time on transportation to participate in the tests. Photo: Niclas Janßen.
7. Grete Boisen receives the award for the most enthusiastic volunteer. Photo: Niclas Janßen.
8. Peter Nielsen receives the award for being the most curious volunteer. Photo: Niclas Janßen.
9. Mathias Bruun got the award for bringing most friends to participate in listening tests. Photo: Niclas Janßen.
10. In between awards and poster presentations there were refreshment and chances to meet some of the other volunteers and researchers. Photo: Niclas Janßen.