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Remote categorical loudness scaling (Kopun et al., 2021)

journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-10, 19:28 authored by Judy G. Kopun, McKenna Turner, Sara E. Harris, Aryn M. Kamerer, Stephen T. Neely, Daniel M. Rasetshwane
Purpose: The aims of this study were to (a) demonstrate the feasibility of administering categorical loudness scaling (CLS) tests in a remote setting, (b) assess the reliability of remote compared with laboratory CLS results, and (c) provide preliminary evidence of the validity of remote CLS testing.
Method: CLS data from 21 adult participants collected in a home setting were compared to CLS data collected in a laboratory setting from previous studies. Five participants took part in studies in both settings. Precalibrated equipment was delivered to participants who performed headphone output level checks and measured ambient noise levels. After a practice run, CLS measurements were collected for two runs at 1 and 4 kHz.
Results: Mean headphone output levels were within 1.5 dB of the target calibration level. Mean ambient noise levels were below the target level. Within-run variability was similar between the two settings, but across-run bias was smaller for data collected in the laboratory setting compared with the remote setting. Systematic differences in CLS functions were not observed for the five individuals who participated in both settings.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that precise stimulus levels can be delivered and background noise levels can be controlled in a home environment. Across-run bias for remote CLS was larger than for in-laboratory CLS, indicating that further work is needed to improve the reliability of CLS data collected in remote settings.

Supplemental Material S1. Transcript of the instructions in the testing software program.

Supplemental Material S2. Results of the voluntary participant experience survey. Ten of 21 participants chose to complete the survey. Similar participant comment statements were grouped so that results could be summarized.

Kopun, J. G., Turner, M., Harris, S. E., Kamerer, A. M., Neely, S. T., & Rasetshwane, D. M. (2021). Evaluation of remote categorical loudness scaling. American Journal of Audiology. Advance online publication.


This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through Grants NIDCD T35 DC008757 (awarded to Boys Town National Research Hospital), NIGMS P20GMI0923 (awarded to Boys Town National Research Hospital), and NIDCD R01 DC016348 (awarded to Stephen Neely). Use of REDCap was supported by the NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute through Grant UL1 TR002535.