Examples using fully online / browser-based platforms
Adaptive Staircase Procedures Online
Question of Interest:
Pitch discrimination thresholds with and without a delay between tones.
Platform / Infrastructure:
Amazon Mechanical Turk. Sounds were hosted on a university server.
Participants in the USA and Canada.
Participants were consented and then filled out a short demographic survey. Before they were able to complete the experiment they had to pass a brief screening to ensure that they were wearing headphones (described in Headphone screening to facilitate web-based auditory experiments. K J P Woods, M Siegel, J Traer and J H McDermott. Attention Perception and Psychophysics, vol.79 pp. 2064-2072, Jul 2017). This screening helps standardize online sound presentation.
Conclusions / Impressions:
We have found that pitch discrimination thresholds measured this way online are directly comparable to thresholds measured in the lab, provided basic filtering steps are taken. For example, we have sometimes used the first of several rounds of threshold estimates to remove poorly performing participants, or included a task that is orthogonal to the hypothesis being tested in order to filter poorly performing participants. A drawback of this method can be the number of files that need to be pre-generated and stored. For a standard adaptive staircase procedure this is often over 1500 audio files for a single experiment condition (20 x number of possible steps in the procedure). However, an advantage is that this method can be easily adapted to any type of adaptive threshold measurement.
Malinda J. McPherson, email@example.com
Additional information and example: Efficient codes for memory determine pitch representations M J McPherson, J H McDermott. bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.07.082511 2020