Examples using participant device / download-based platforms
PART/BGC Science and Auditory Training
We developed PART to allow clinicians and researchers to take high-quality auditory processing testing outside the laboratory, using an iPad and Sennheiser 280 Pro headphones. This was shown to be very effective in comparison with testing using standard laboratory hardware and software and in comparison with the published literature (references below). However, the need to do remote testing suggested to us that we should expand the approach to use listener hardware as well.
BGC Science was created to allow participants to download the app on their own phone, tablet, or computer. The app contacts the server and, based on the email address, a specific test battery is sent to the device. Data are saved on a HIPAA-compliant server, using a unique identifier that can only be associated with the email address by the experimenter. https://ucrbraingamecenter.github.io/PART_Utilities/
Listen is an auditory training game being developed by NCRAR and UC Riverside Brain Game Center. It can be downloaded from the iOS app store. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/listen-an-audio-training-experience/id1031353626
What we did
To determine how user devices would work, and how older listeners would do with the game, we developed two studies. The first involved undergraduates who downloaded BGC Science and Listen on their own devices. They did pre-, mid-, and post-testing with BGC Science and played 30 20-minute sessions. The second involved providing our hardware to older listeners and getting their feedback on gameplay. Both experiments used Zoom to guide participants through downloading, setting up, and using the apps.
What was learned
Data collection is ongoing, but evidence suggests that suprathreshold testing can be done on a participant’s own device and that many will be able to obtain thresholds similar to published values. Gameplay was found to be more engaging than in previous versions.
What comes next
Future work will involve completing data analysis and using BGC Science to explore other assessments and establish the most efficient ways to assess auditory processing abilities at home using the listener’s existing hardware.
References and Contact Information
Contact Erick Gallun for more information: email@example.com
Gallun, F.J., Seitz, A., Eddins, D.A., Molis, M.R., Stavropoulos, T., Jakien, K.M., Kampel, S.D., Diedesch, A.C., Hoover, E.C., Bell, K., Souza, P.E., Sherman, M., Calandruccio, L., Xue, G., Taleb, N., Sebena, R., and Srinivasan, N. (2018) “Development and validation of Portable Automated Rapid Testing (PART) measures for auditory research” Proceedings of Meetings in Acoustics, 33, 050002 https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0000878
Lelo de Larrea-Mancera, E. S., Stavropoulos, T., Hoover, E. C., Eddins, D. A., Gallun, F.J., & Seitz, A. R. (2020). Portable Automated Rapid Testing (PART) for auditory research: Validation in a normal hearing population. BioRxiv, 899088. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.08.899088