The report in 1993 by Green [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 93, 2096-2105 (1993)] describing the application of a new psychophysical method requiring few trials and little time to measure auditory thresholds has generated considerable interest among experimentalists. The procedure uses a single- interval stimulus presentation, requests a yes-no decision by subjects, and implements a maximum-likelihood calculation to determine the next trial stimulus level within an adaptive track, as well as the final threshold estimate. Data are presented here describing separate experiences with this procedure in two laboratories in both detection and discrimination tasks. Issues addressed include comparisons with more traditional psychophysical methods, variability in threshold estimates, experimental time required, and possible minor modifications to improve the basic procedure. Results using this procedure are comparable in terms of variability of estimates to those emerging from more lengthy procedures. However, because it may be difficult for some listeners to maintain a consistent criterion and because attentional lapses may be costly, experimenters must be willing to monitor performance closely and repeat some tracks in cases where excessively high variability is noted. Further, this procedure may not be suitable for tasks for which the form of the psychometric function is not well-established. Modifications allowing a variable slope parameter in the maximum-likelihood evaluations of psychometric functions may be of benefit. (C) 2000 Acoustical Society of America.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics