CURF #3: Reflection on Research

At the beginning of the semester and further back in 2020, I had a limited understanding of what the research process was like. I had assumed that research was formulating a hypothesis and experiment, and then performing the experiment to see if the results would align with your hypothesis. While generally, this may be true in many cases, I’ve learned that one of the most fundamental steps in conducting research was first starting with a literature review. I’ve learned that in order to be involved in research, it is imperative that one becomes cognizant of what is currently going on in the field, such as what is known by researchers versus what is not known or has not been studied. One method of doing this is to look up literature or articles on reliable research databases (i.e., PubMed, respected research journals) that are related to the study or area of interest. This process enabled me to acquire deeper knowledge of what was known in the field of pediatric audiology and cochlear implants. Another aspect of the research that I learned was how it takes patience and time to prepare and develop the experiment. Currently, we are in the process of developing stimuli, where we will be using the song, Happy Birthday to test the participants’ abilities in using auditory feedback, auditory stream segregation, and pitch perception through a variety of tasks. Previously, Dr. Pratt’s lab had welcomed three new students to join our project, and we had been catching them up on the literature review and what our study is about, as well as working on administering otoscopy, tympanometry, and using the audiometer to test hearing. Although we have not arrived at testing participants yet, the process of getting there has been fruitful and thorough.

As the CURF comes to a close, I would first like to note my gratitude for this opportunity. Without CURF, I would not have been able to receive this research experience and learn what’s it like to become a researcher, or even be involved in research. As for what to do next, I plan on remaining in Dr. Pratt’s lab and continuing the project throughout the rest of the term as well as the next few years. I hope to continue learning more about the pediatric audiology and rehabilitation field as I pursue audiology in graduate school. I also hope that in the near future, I will become more knowledgeable about research being done in the CSD field—because of this opportunity through the CURF, my interest in learning more about other areas (not just in pediatric audiology) within the CSD field has been piqued.

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