How to Run: cerebTimeAdapt

How to run cerebTimeAdapt (cerebellar battery, 2022-23)


Special running circumstances

This experiment is part of the cerebellar battery run in 2022-2023. For controls, it is in the SECOND session. For patients, it is in the THIRD session.

In this battery, participants come in for multiple sessions and do multiple experiments in a row. As such, this is a bare bones document on how to run the experiment. Procedures for consent, hearing screening, awareness surveys, general equipment set up, and payment are not included in this document. See the documents below for how these procedures are implemented in this multi-study session: 

  1. For controls
  2. For patients

Pretest phase: setting the OST and PCF files

"This experiment has one short section and then one long section.There will be breaks between sections while I set up the next part.

For this first section, you will see one word at a time appear on the screen. When you see the word on screen, read it out loud, just like you would normally say it. You will be speaking into the microphone on the desk, and you will hear your own voice and some noise played back through these headphones. Do you have any questions?"

MATLAB command: run_cerebTimeAdapt_expt

The first phase of this experiment both gets the participant used to how the study is going to go, and also records some initial tokens so that you can set the OST file (see this article for information on how OST files work). The OST file in this experiment has three OST transitions: 

  1. 0 to status 2: detects the onset of the vowel 
  2. 2 to status 4: detects the onset of /s/ in "best" 
  3. 4 to status 6: detects the onset of silence, here the /t/ of "best" 

The participant should say the word like it is the answer to something, "Best." or "Best!" If they are saying it like it is an item in a list ("best..."), or like a question, encourage them to change how they say it by demonstrating. You may have to correct them again during the experiment. The key is that the vowel should not be too drawn out. 

The initial pretest phase has 9 trials. After the trials are over, the GUI audapter_viewer* will open with the trials. Use audapter_viewer to tweak the OST** file if necessary (see this article on how to use audapter_viewer). These segment transitions are quite robust so you will likely not need to change much; you may need to tweak parameters, but it is highly unlikely that you will need to tweak heuristics.

*See this guide on how to use audapter_viewer
**See this guide on how to set OSTs

Important notes about OST status setting

  • For this experiment, the most important OST status is 2, which is the onset of the vowel.
    • This is the event that triggers the time warping event, so it should be accurate.
    • It is better to have it slightly late than too early.
    • The default heuristic looks for RMS intensity to surpass a certain threshold, so this should be fairly reliable, since the participant is not saying anything before the target word. 
  • Status 6 is the next most important.
    • It must be reliably detecting the silence in the /t/ closure. It is better to err on the side of late than early
    • This event is important because the interval between status 2 and status 6 is what gets fed into the PCF file so that the time warping event does not end too soon.
    • The default heuristic looks for RMS intensity to go below a certain threshold, which should also be fairly reliable. However, it cannot be all the way at the end of the trial because the time warp event has to end before the end of the trial otherwise Matlab will crash. 
  • Status 4 is not directly used in the experiment, but you should try to have it relatively accurate.
    • OST statuses must occur linearly, so if the tracking never hits status 4, status 6 will also never occur.
    • The default heuristic for this looks for a rise in the RMS ratio, i.e. high intensity in higher frequencies. 

When you are satisfied with the OST tracking, click "Continue/Exit". You will get a dialog asking if you want to save; click "Save and Exit". This will ensure that the new parameters are saved both into the OST file and into the experiment file for that participant. Then a dialog will pop up to make sure it is being saved in the right place. The automatically selected option should be the local folder for that participant/experiment; if it is not, you can find another folder instead. 

  • If you changed the OST at all, you will automatically redo the practice. If this is the case, tell the participant, "We're going to try that one more time." If you need to provide any additional guidance, such as speaking more naturally, you can tell them that as well. 
  • If you did not change the OSTs, you will be able to move onto the next phase. 

Segmentation (information for PCF) 

After the OSTs are set, another GUI will pop up for you to segment the most recent practice trials. There will be two user events (denoted by cyan lines): one corresponding to where OST status 2 was for that trial, and one corresponding to where OST status 6 was for that trial. They will be labeled as "vStart" and "tBurst" respectively. Click and drag on the lines to adjust these events to correspond with the actual location of the start of /E/ and the start of the /t/ burst for the trial, then press 'continue' to continue to the next trial. 

If you messed up on one of the events, you can click "previous" to go back to that trial (unless it was the last trial). 

The information about the interval between vStart and tBurst will be automatically fed into the PCF file (configures perturbation). 

(For more detailed instructions on how to use audioGUI, see this article.) 

When you are done with the last trial, a figure will pop up and you will be asked if you want to accept that duration of durHold. The dots in the figure should be roughly below the line. If not, click "no" and redo the practice phase again. 

Main Phase

"We'll now begin the main section, which will probably take about 10 minutes. Just like in the practice phase, you'll see a word on the screen, and then say that word like you normally would. Do you have any questions before we start?"

If no questions, "Whenever you're ready, you may begin."

Things to keep an eye on:

  • The experiment controller screen will show you the OST statuses for each trial. Keep an eye on these. If they start looking consistently off, you can adjust the OSTs in the middle of the experiment. To do this, press 'a'. At the top of the next iteration of the trial loop, audapter_viewer will open again and you can adjust the statuses by looking at the last trials from the experiment. Because the statuses are relatively robust for this word, you will probably not have to do this, but if the speakers are particularly variable you may have to. 
  • In addition, keep an eye on the participant's loudness. You may have to adjust the gain a bit over the course of the experiment. However, if their voice strength fades dramatically, they may need to take a bit of a break instead. 

If you need to pause for any reason (other than adjusting OSTs), press the 'p' key on the keyboard. The experiment will pause at the top of the next trial loop. 

When the experiment is done

  1. Move the experiment data from the local computer to the server
    1. If running at UW: the data will be saved in C:\Users\Public\Documents\experiments\cerebTimeAdapt\acousticData\. Copy the participant's folder into: \\wcs-cifs\wc\smng\experiments\cerebTimeAdapt\acousticData
    2. If NOT running at UW: the data will be saved into the folder generated by get_acoustSavePath('cerebTimeAdapt'). Copy the participant's folder into the path generated by get_acoustLoadPath('cerebTimeAdapt')
  2. (At UW) Fill out the Lab Notebook on the server, located at \\wcs-cifs\wc\smng\admin\ 

If Matlab crashes during the experiment

As of 10/14/2022 there is no restart script for this experiment. 


Keywordshow to run, cerebellar, time, OST, audapter   Doc ID121522
OwnerRobin K.GroupSMNG Lab Manual
Created2022-09-23 21:17:22Updated2024-02-13 11:21:14
SitesSpeech Motor Neuroscience Group
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