Software for running psychoacoustic experiments (Aleksander Sek & Brian Moore)
Current research in the field of psychoacoustics is mostly conducted using a computer to generate and present the stimuli and to collect the responses of the subject. Professor Aleksander Sek and Professor Brian Moore have developed a software package that makes it possible to set up and conduct a wide variety of experiments in psychoacoustics without the need for time-consuming programming or technical expertise. Possible experiments include:
- measurement of the absolute threshold
- simultaneous and forward masking (including notched-noise masking)
- comodulation masking release
- intensity and frequency discrimination
- amplitude-modulation detection and discrimination
- gap detection
- discrimination of interaural time and level differences
- measurement of sensitivity to temporal fine structure
- measurement of the binaural masking level difference
The free software can be downloaded from: https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/hearing/software-running-psychoacoustic-experiments
More information on the software can be found here: https://press.amu.edu.pl/en/wprowadzenie%20do%20pakietu%20psychoacoustics%20(pdf).html
Online implementation of the STRIPES test of spectro-temporal processing
STRIPES (Spectro-Temporal Ripple for Investigating Processor EffectivenesS) is a non-speech test of spectro-temporal sensitivity. It was designed for use with Cochlear Implant (CI) listeners, for example allowing one to test new methods of stimulation, signal-processing, or programming, without the confounding effects of familiarity that occur with speech tests. The test presents listeners with concurrent sinusoidal sweeps that either increase or decrease in frequency over time and requires listeners to discriminate between downward- and upward-sweeping stimuli (Fig. 1).
The STRIPES test was originally developed and validated using direct auditory input to the Advanced Bionics CI (Archer-Boyd et al., 2018), and subsequently shown to work well with free-field presentation (Archer-Boyd et al., 2020). Differences in STRIPES scores have been shown to correlate, across listeners, with differences in performance between two experimental speech-processing strategies (Goehring et al., 2019). STRIPES has also been shown to correlate with individual measures of channel interaction using spectrally blurred speech-in-noise stimuli (Goehring et al., 2020).
We have now developed an online version of the test (Archer-Boyd et al., in press) that can be run by CI participants using any device, such as a mobile phone or tablet, that they can use to stream audio directly to their CI. All manufacturers provide this capability, which can be used in everyday life e.g. for making phone calls or listening to podcasts. Participants simply connect to the test using a web browser on their device, using a link sent to them by the experimenter. An example test can be run by clicking here (note that the task should initially be very easy for a normal-hearing person listening acoustically).
Code for running the test can be obtained freely (and at the user’s risk) by clicking on a link that will soon be available on this site; in the meantime please just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archer-Boyd, A., Goehring, T., and Carlyon, R. P. (2020). “The effect of free-field presentation and processing strategy on a measure of spectro-temporal processing by cochlear-implant listeners.,” Trends in Hearing 24:2331216520964281.
Archer-Boyd, A., Harland, A. J., Goehring, T., and Carlyon, R. P. (in press). “An online implementation of a measure of spectro-temporal processing by cochlear-implant listeners,” Jasa Express Letters
Archer-Boyd, A., Southwell, R., Deeks, J. M., Turner, R., and Carlyon, R. P. (2018). “Validation and development of the STRIPES test as a measure of spectro-temporal processing in cochlear-implant listeners,” J. Acoust. So.c Am. 144, 2983-2997.
Goehring, T., Archer-Boyd, A., Deeks, J. M., Arenberg, J. G., and Carlyon, R. P. (2019). “A Site-Selection Strategy Based on Polarity Sensitivity for Cochlear Implants: Effects on Spectro-Temporal Resolution and Speech Perception,” J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 20, 431-448.
Goehring, T., Arenberg, J. G., and Carlyon, R. P. (2020). “Using Spectral Blurring to Assess Effects of Channel Interaction on Speech-in-Noise Perception with Cochlear Implants,” J. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. 353-371.