We conduct research on age-related learning changes. Our goals are to determine the causes of age-related learning differences and to find strategies for improving older adults’ learning performance.
Most studies are completed in a single 2-hour session. Participants may be presented with words, pictures, or stories and then asked to describe what they saw or heard.
We are currently seeking volunteers from the community to participate in our research. Participants will be compensated for their time. Our eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Must be at least 60 years old
- Must be able to live independently
- Must have no history of neurological problems
If you are a younger adult and would like to participate to earn course credit, please sign up online with the Sona system.
If you are interested or would like to learn more about participating in one of our research studies, please contact us!
psu-lifetimelearninglab (AT) plymouth (DOT) edu
Lifetime Learning Laboratory
17 High Street, MSC #31
Plymouth, NH 03264
I just found out about your research and am very interested in participating. What do I need to do?
If you are interested, we ask that you contact us, and the quickest way to do so is to call us directly at (603) 535-2657. We will collect some personal information from you over the phone to determine your eligibility, and your information will be entered into our confidential database. If we find that you are eligible, we will schedule an appointment with you.
How often do I need to come back to participate?
We usually require only 1 visit for a particular research project. If you enjoy participating, we will call you again in a few months for a separate project that is also likely to require only 1 visit.
What is participation like?
When you arrive at our offices, one of our staff members will meet you and explain the learning tasks to you. Typically, you will be asked to read or listen to something, and then we will ask you about what you saw or heard. If at any time you are uncomfortable, you are free to leave and will still receive your payment. Our studies generally last 1-2 hours, and we can provide you with additional information when we schedule you for a specific research project. Still curious? Take our sample learning task now!
Will the appointment really last up to 2 hours?
We understand that 2 hours may seem like a long time, but we do not want you to feel rushed while you are with us. We overestimate the anticipated length of our appointments so that if we do run somewhat late, it will not affect your other plans. Please also note that the total time includes breaks, and we have coffee, tea, and snacks on hand so that you are more comfortable while you are here.
Are you wheelchair accessible?
Yes, there is a ramp available for entry into the building as well as an elevator that will bring you to our offices on the 4th floor of Hyde.
How long is this research study going on, and how many participants do you need?
We typically have more than one active research project at a time and are constantly seeking more participants, so it is never too late to sign up! If you know someone that would be interested in participating or have suggestions for how we can recruit more people, please do not hesitate to contact us.
I would like to participate, but I have a very busy schedule. How difficult is it to schedule an appointment?
For most studies, you would only need to come to the lab for one session, lasting about 1-2 hours. We will inform you of the specific time requirements when we call to schedule an appointment. Since participants are tested individually, we are very flexible and can set up an appointment around your schedule.
Can my spouse/partner/friend and I participate together?
You are more than welcome to come to the laboratory together as long as both of you are eligible to participate. Since everyone must complete the study individually, please let us know in advance that you would like to come simultaneously so that we have enough staff on hand.
I would like to volunteer, but I am unable to find transportation to your offices. Is there still a way for me to participate?
Of course! We are mobile and can come to you if necessary. During our screening process, we will ask you about transportation and determine the best method to meet you for an appointment if you are eligible to participate.
I signed up to participate in an experiment a couple of months ago, but I still have not been called to schedule an appointment. Do you still have my information?
Sometimes it might be a while before we are able to schedule you for an appointment. This can be due to several reasons. For example, we might currently be focusing on another age group, or you might not match the criteria required for a given research project.
Will I be able to see my results?
We will be happy to share your results with you if you wish; however, please keep in mind that our goal is not to determine whether your performance is “good” or “bad.” Instead, we are averaging the results from several age groups to identify where any learning differences might emerge. Although we are using learning tasks to assess age differences, they are not designed to be used as diagnostic tests.
If I come in for an appointment, will you tell me how I can improve my learning abilities?
Actually, participating in one of our studies can be a great mental exercise for you! In addition, we might ask you to use a particular strategy for one of our research projects that could be used in your daily activities outside of the laboratory.
I would like to participate, but I do not need the money. Can I leave it with you and have you donate it for me?
Unfortunately, we are not currently able to make donations on your behalf. We suggest that you accept our gift to you and use it to donate to your favorite charity if you wish.
How much does your research help with the understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Although we are not studying Alzheimer’s patients directly, we believe that our research projects will contribute to a greater understanding of the behavioral changes that occur with both normal and pathological aging.
Dr. Angela Kilb
Director, Lifetime Learning Laboratory
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Plymouth State University
Email: akilb (AT) plymouth (DOT) edu
Email: jbphillips1 (AT) plymouth (DOT) edu
I am currently a Junior at Plymouth State University. I was born in Texas but raised in Somersworth, NH. I am a psychology major with a focus on mental health. I plan on attending grad school after getting my bachelors here at Plymouth. I hope to go to Chicago or somewhere out west, preferably on the coast. I am also a Community Advisor in Pemigewasset Hall and work for the Office of Environmental Sustainability on campus. In my free time I enjoy a good book, riding my motorcycle, fishing, walking, and netflixing. I intend on traveling as much as I can after graduation. I am very excited to work with Dr. Kilb and learn a lot from the experience of working in a research team.
- Jade Romagna, Class of 2015 (Thesis: Physiological and Emotional Correlates of Working Memory; in collaboration with Dr. Brian Healy)
- Andrew Hersey, Class of 2015 (Thesis: Individual Differences in Heart Rate Variability and Associative Memory Recognition in Older and Younger Adults)
Martin Research and Consulting at Draper Labs
- Christopher Moore, Class of 2015 (Thesis: False Feedback Changes People’s Relative Judgments)
- Amanda Comeau, Class of 2014
- Evan Kowalski, Class of 2014
- Allison Jacques, Class of 2014 (Thesis: The Effects of Power Posing on Overconfidence in the DRM Paradigm)
- Amanda Kelley, Class of 2013 (Thesis: Auditory Vs. Visual Cues in Tip-of-the-Tongue States)
Family Specialist with Compass in Boston, MA
- Nicole Brodeur, Class of 2012
currently studying School Psychology at Rhode Island College
- Lindsey DePorter, Class 2011 (Thesis: False Memories Caused by Biases of Poverty in Child Abuse)
We are located on the campus of Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. Our offices are on the 4th floor of Hyde Hall in room 439.
Take exit 25 for NH-175 toward Holderness Rd/Plymouth and head west from the off-ramp. At the traffic circle, take the first right for Highway 3 North (Main St). Then turn left on Merrill Street (at Lakes Region Chiropractic). After you climb the hill, Hyde Hall will be the 4-story, brick building on your left.
There are 2 reserved parking spaces for the Lifetime Learning Laboratory (please see the map below).
Below is a sample learning task for the Lifetime Learning Laboratory. To begin, click on the video below. You will see a study list of 10 word pairs, and your task is to remember as many of the words and pairings as possible. When you are finished, click the link at the bottom to answer some questions about what you saw. Good luck!