Eleonora Sulas1, Pierre-Yves Hasan2, Yue Zhang1, François Patou2
1Oticon Medical, Vallauris, France
2Oticon Medical, Smørum, Denmark
Research in auditory science increasingly relies on concepts and testing paradigms from behavioural psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The evolution of auditory research towards Cognitive Hearing Science (CHS) aims to address the gaps in basic understanding of fundamental interactions between peripheral and central auditory processes and the need for evaluating new hearing interventions against meaningful cognitive and psychobehavioural outcomes.
Experimental paradigms for CHS may therefore call for the use of hybrid cognitive and psychobehavioural tests such as those relating the attentional system, working memory capacity, and executive functioning to the auditory modality. Experimentalists may also seek to relate these tests to objective measures acquired through modalities such as EEG, gazetracking, or pupillometry. Building such complex custom CHS experiments can rapidly become time-consuming and error-prone. Platform-based experimental design can help streamline the implementation of CHS experimental paradigms, promote the standardization of experiment design practices, and ensure reliability and control over timing. We introduce a set of features built on the open-source python-based OpenSesame platform that allows the rapid implementation of custom behavioural and cognitive hearing science tests including complex multichannel audio stimuli and adaptive procedures while interfacing with various synchronous inputs/outputs I/Os, e.g., the Pupil Labs eye-tracking glasses. Our integration includes advanced audio playback capabilities with multiple loudspeakers, an adaptive procedure, compatibility with standard I/Os and their synchronization through implementation of the Lab Streaming Layer protocol. We exemplify the capabilities of this extended OpenSesame platform with an implementation of the three-alternative forced choice amplitude modulation detection test and discuss reliability and performance of the newly introduced plugins.