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Using Neurotechnology to Improve Language Learning

Using Neurotechnology to Improve Language Learning

We are examining how different neurotechnologies can be used to enhance language learning. Currently, we are conducting a 5-session study (each session approximately 1.5-2.5 hours long, for total time commitment of ~8-10 hours) to evaluate the effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS is a non-invasive method in which we send low levels of electric current through different areas of the brain. Past research has shown not only that the levels of current used in tDCS are completely safe, but actually induce plasticity in the targeted brain regions, making it faster and easier to learn new things. We hope to apply this technology to learning a more complex skill like language.

In the study, you would be asked to fill out several questionnaires on the computer that collect demographic and language background information, as well as verify the safety of using the tDCS for you. You would then be asked to complete several computerized tasks that measure memory and language learning ability while the tDCS is on.

This study pays $15/hour, rounded to the nearest 20-minute interval (e.g., 1 hour and 10 minutes = $20). The study will take place in the first floor of Gutherie Hall at the University of Washington. Successful completion of all 5 sessions will include a $20 incentive bonus. In total, those who complete all 5 sessions should receive ~$140-170.

Participant Eligibility

To be part of this study, you must be:

Monolingual in English (“functionally monolingual”)


Between the ages of 18-35

You CANNOT be in this study if you:
Have knowledge of any language other than English, especially any basic knowledge or previous exposure to French

Were exposed to other languages before the age of 7 that you are no longer, or never became, fluent in

Have had a major head surgery, seizure, stroke, or orbital fraction surgery

Have known neurological disorders, frequent or severe headaches, or family history of epilepsy

Have a current diagnosis of, or are taking medication for, a psychiatric disorder

Have non-removable metal in your body such as a cardiac pacemaker, aneurysm clip, cochlear implant, shrapnel, metal fragments in your eye(s), or neurostimulators

Are withdrawing from alcohol or drug addiction

Are pregnant or think you could be pregnant

Many of these criteria are set for your own safety. If you have any questions about the eligibility criteria, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Kinsey Bice
(608) 669-1635

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
Using Neurotechnology to Improve Language Learning

Study ID: STUDY00005574
Start Date: 09/25/2018
End Date: 08/08/2020

Chantel Prat
Kinsey Bice

Accepts Healthy Volunteers?

Study Site(s)

Gutherie Hall, University of Washington

3921 W Stevens Way NE 1st floor (waiting room)
Seattle, Washington 98105


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.