How to run: taimComp

How to run taimComp. Part of cerebellar battery (2022-2023).

Special circumstances: part of battery

This experiment is part of the cerebellar battery run in 2022-2023. 

  • Patients (UW and UCSF): Session 3
  • Controls (UW): Session 2

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. Protocol for cerebellar battery: controls
  2. For patients

What's special about this experiment

This experiment uses formant clamping to simulate acceleration, deceleration, undershoot, and overshoot of the vowel /ai/. 

This is very reliant on accurate OST tracking from Audapter. For this, we individualize OST parameters for each participant using an in-house GUI called audapter_viewer. Here is a video guide for how to use audapter_viewer. If you would like more information about the particular heuristics that are used for OST tracking, see this guide

Note: You MUST use UW's version of Audapter (and accompanying Matlab code) for this!! Other versions do not have formant clamping. The experiment code does a hard check for the formant clamping before starting so you will find out quickly if your Audapter is not set up right. 

Prepping for participant

Before running the participant, determine if they are a speaker with monophthongization of the target vowel or not. Speakers with monophthongization cannot participate in this experiment because it renders the manipulations null!

  1. Monophthongization of /ai/ is a typical feature of Southern American English and Black English, though not all speakers of these dialects will necessarily have it (depending on their other linguistic experiences)

  2. Monophthongization means the vowel in “buy” or “guide” will sound more like “bah” or “gahd” 

  3. If you cannot hear this specifically without looking at a spectrogram, you will get the opportunity to do that during the LPC order check.

Pre-experiment instructions

Tell the participant: “This experiment has four shorter sections and then one long section. There will be breaks between sections while I set up the next part.” 

  1. Type run_taimComp_expt into the command window and hit enter. 
  2. You will be asked if you want to do HARD or SIMPLE. Type simple and hit enter ("hard" uses a longer sentence and is trickier to navigate OSTs in) 
  3. You will be asked for participant number. It is important to use the right kind of prefix so that the trials are the right duration (for patients, they are longer/slower with more time between trials) 
    1. UW:

      1. if control, spXXX

      2. If patient, caXXX

    2. UCSF, UC-Berkeley: 

      1. Currently, the code looks for the substring ‘ca’ to identify patients. This can be changed to look for an additional condition if you have some other identifier in your own system

  4. You will then be asked about the participant’s height. This is how we determine the starting value for LPC order.

Preparation phase 1: LPC order

  1. In this phase, participants will see words on the screen and say them out loud. 

  2. Tell the participant: “For this first section, you will see one word at a time appear on the screen. When you see the word on the 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 the headphones. Do you have any questions?"

  3. The participant will complete 30 trials, 10 trials per word (bod, bead, bide). 

    1. If you have not yet determined if the speaker has monophthongization, look at the formant trajectories in “bide” as they show up on the control screen. 

    2. Examine the Audapter-tracked formants as they are coming up on the control screen. Note if the tracking seems to indicate that the LPC order should be changed. Indications that something might be off: 
      1. F2 transition from a to i in /ai/ might be extremely jumpy or jittery 
      2. F2 for /a/, especially near the /b/ transition, is questionable
      3. F2 for /i/ might jump down and up 
  4. The check_audapterLPC GUI will then come up. Use the GUI to find an appropriate LPC order for the participant. 

    1. If you still aren’t sure about the monophthongization, you can look at the formants again in this GUI.

Pretest phase 2a: OST setting for "BUY donuts" and "GUIDE boaters" 

  1. Tell the participant: “For this section, you will see a phrase and read it out loud. Try to read it in a clear voice, putting emphasis on the capitalized word, like this: BUY donuts now. Can you say those phrases for me?”
    1. You should coach them until they say the phrase in the right way: [sound examples of good productions: buy donuts example; guide tutors example

      1. It is important to use focus (emphasis) on the capitalized word so that it is long enough without being a very unnatural speech rate. 

      2. They should NOT put pauses between words, because they will be confounding the experimental conditions (and making it difficult to automatically track the segments). It should be a smooth, slow-ish speech rate. 

      3. Although duration will not be tracked in this phase, you should try to get them to say it at a speech rate similar to what will be used in the full experiment. That way, the landmarks for the vowels will be consistent (people may have different proportions of [a] to [i] at different speech rates). 
  2. When they have gotten comfortable with saying the phrases, press the space bar to advance to the screen that gives them the general instructions. Tell them: “Okay, you can start whenever you are ready.” 

  3. They will read each phrase 9 times in random order

  4. When they finish, tell them: “I am just going to make some measurements, so you can relax for a few minutes.” 

  5. After they have finished, audapter_viewer will open. Use audapter_viewer to set the OST parameters for the participant. [See guide on Audapter’s OST capabilities or how to use audapter_viewer]

    OST setting for HARD version

    1. Status 2: onset of /wi/

    2. Status 4: onset of /b/ or /g/ 

      1. You will want the threshold for this status to be low enough that RMS fluctuations through “we” do not trigger it. 

    3. Status 6: onset of /ai/ 

      1. This is the most important status! This is the status that finds beginning of the target vowel and thus, the beginning of the perturbation

      2. This status should be rather robustly tracking the very beginning of the vowel, but if you need it to be a touch late to avoid accidental triggers at other points, that is okay. It should not be more than 50 ms late or so, however. 

    4. Status 8: start of /d/ in “guide” or “donuts” 

      1. This is also the most important status! This is the status that finds the end of the vowel and thus the end of the perturbation. 

      2. This is less finicky than “buy yogurt” because there isn’t anything in the middle that should be causing a decrease in intensity.

     

    OST setting for SIMPLE version

    1. Status 2: onset of /ai/ 

      1. This is the most important status! This is the status that finds beginning of the target vowel and thus, the beginning of the perturbation

      2. This status should be rather robustly tracking the very beginning of the vowel, but if you need it to be a touch late to avoid accidental triggers at other points, that is okay. It should not be more than 50 ms late or so, however. 

    2. Status 4: start of /d/ in “guide” or “donuts” 

      1. This is also the most important status! This is the status that finds the end of the vowel and thus the end of the perturbation. 

      2. You should try to get this status as close to the end of the vowel as possible, since /d/ usually has enough voicing such that Audapter tries to track formants through it. 

     
  6. When you are satisfied with the parameters, click “Continue and Exit”. 

    1. Click “Save and Exit” 

    2. Verify the folder you would like to save into 

  7. If you had to change anything from the default, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to run the OST setting phase again to make sure that they work with new data (and thus that they can generalize to the participant’s speech) 

    1. If you have to repeat, tell the participant: “We’re just going to do that one more time so I can make sure everything is set up correctly.” 

Segmentation

If everything was okay, audioGUI will then pop up for you to hand-correct four landmarks on all 18 trials. [See example of how to segment: buy donuts; guide tutors --- the full phrases are slightly different than the current version, but the segmentation of /ai/ is the same.] 

Note: the segmentation can take a while so if you are comfortable with multitasking and you have the technological means (e.g. you are in the same room as them), you can make chitchat with them while you make adjustments

  1. aiStart: beginning of vowel 

    1. Move this event to the beginning of the /ai/ in “buy” 

  2. a2iStart

    1. Move this event to when F2 starts moving up towards the second quality in /ai/ in earnest. 

  3. iPlateauStart

    1. Move this event to where F2 starts to reach the plateau (do not mark the peak—mark where the F2 trajectory starts to flatten out) 

  4. dStart

    1. Move this event to where the /d/ closure starts. This should be where formant energy reduces; some voicing will almost certainly still be there. 

Preparation phase 2b: "BUY yogurt" or "BUY Yoshi" 

  1. Preparation phase 2b: OST check and determining when transitions occur for “buy Yoshi" ("buy Yogurt" if simple version)  

    1. The same thing will happen again: “BUY Yoshi now” (or, if hard mode, "We BUY yogurt now") 

    2. Tell the participant: “We are going to do the same thing now, but with a different phrase. Can you read these out loud for me?” 

      1. Again, coach them until they are producing them in the right way [See example wave files for reference

    3. When they have gotten comfortable with saying the phrase, press the space bar to advance to the screen that gives them the general instructions. Tell them: “Okay, you can start whenever you are ready.” 

    4. They will read the phrase 9 times 

    5. After they have finished, audapter_viewer will open. Use audapter_viewer to set the OST parameters for the participant. [See guide on Audapter’s OST capabilities or how to use audapter_viewer]

      OST setting for HARD version

      1. Status 2: onset of /wi/

      2. Status 4: onset of /b/ or /g/ 

        1. You will want the threshold for this status to be low enough that RMS fluctuations through “we” do not trigger it. 

      3. Status 6: onset of /ai/ 

        1. This is the most important status! This is the status that finds beginning of the target vowel and thus, the beginning of the perturbation

        2. This status should be rather robustly tracking the very beginning of the vowel, but if you need it to be a touch late to avoid accidental triggers at other points, that is okay. It should not be more than 50 ms late or so, however. 

      4. Status 8: start of /g/ in “yogurt"

        1. This is also the most important status! This is the status that finds the end of the vowel and thus the end of the perturbation. 

        2. This is less finicky than “buy yogurt” because there isn’t anything in the middle that should be causing a decrease in intensity.

       

      OST setting for SIMPLE version

      1. Status 2: onset of /ai/ 

        1. This is the most important status! This is the status that finds beginning of the target vowel and thus, the beginning of the perturbation

        2. This status should be rather robustly tracking the very beginning of the vowel, but if you need it to be a touch late to avoid accidental triggers at other points, that is okay. It should not be more than 50 ms late or so, however. 

      2. Status 4: start of /sh/ in “Yoshi"

        1. This is also the most important status! This is the status that finds the end of the vowel and thus the end of the perturbation. 

        2. This should be a pretty robust tracker. 

    6. When you are satisfied with the parameters, click “Continue and Exit”. 

      1. Click “Save and Exit” 

      2. Verify the folder you would like to save into 

    7. If you had to change anything from the default, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to run the OST setting phase again to make sure that they work with new data (and thus that they can generalize to the participant’s speech) 

      1. If you have to repeat, tell the participant: “We’re just going to do that one more time so I can make sure everything is set up correctly.” 

Segmentation

If everything was okay, audioGUI will then pop up for you to hand-correct five landmarks on all nine trials. [See guide on how to use audioGUI—note: it may be easier to toggle the formant display off so you can see the spectrogram more clearly] [See example of how to segment]

  1. aiStart: beginning of vowel 

    1. Move this event to the beginning of the /ai/ in “buy” 

  2. a2iStart

    1. Move this event to when F2 starts moving up towards the second quality in /ai/ in earnest. 

  3. iPlateauStart

    1. Move this event to where F2 starts to reach the plateau (do not mark the peak—mark where the F2 trajectory starts to flatten out) 

  4. oStart

    1. Move this event to where F2 starts to flatten out again after going back down for the /o/ in yogurt

  5. shStart (simple mode) / gStart (hard mode) 

    1. Simple mode: Move this event to where the noise for esh starts. 

    2. Hard mode: move this event to where the /g/ closure starts. This should be where formant energy reduces; some voicing will almost certainly still be there. 

Preparation phase 3: Duration training

  1. Tell the participant: 

    1. “In this section, you will practice saying the phrases at a good speed. When you say each phrase, you will get some feedback about how fast you were talking. If you see a BLUE circle, it’ll tell you to speak a little faster. If you see a YELLOW circle, it will tell you to speak a little slower. If you see a GREEN circle, that means you were speaking at a good speed.” 

    2. Pause to confirm 

    3. “So if you are told to speak a little slower or a little faster, you don’t have to really change how you are speaking drastically. Keep speaking smoothly and clearly, and just adjust a little. So like if you said [speak quickly] “we BUY donuts now” and have to slow down, you can just say [speak more slowly] “we BUY donuts now”, you don’t have to put any extra pauses in or anything.”

    4. Pause to confirm 

  2. They will do 15 trials (5 of each phrase). 

    1. Keep general track of how they do (usually too fast, usually too slow, usually good, etc.) 

    2. Keep an eye on the OSTs. The duration feedback is based on the OST values, so if they are not tracking correctly, the feedback will be off. 

  3. You will be given the option to repeat. 

    1. If you need to adjust the OSTs, you can do that, and then run again 

    2. Give general guidance on how fast to speak to the participant if necessary (referring to if they were generally fast/slow) 

Main experiment

  1. Tell the participant: “This is the last section. It will be just like the section you just did, but will last longer, about 30 minutes. There will be breaks every 30 trials. If you need to pause at another time, like to cough or to drink water, you can press p on the keyboard. Do you have any questions?” 

  2. During the experiment: 

    1. Keep an eye on their OST tracking. You can adjust mid-experiment if necessary by pressing ‘a’

      1. You will be asked what file you want to change. Daid (hard) and DaidSimple (simple) work for "buy donuts" and "guide boaters". buyYogurt (hard) and buyYoshi (simple) work for "buy yogurt/Yoshi". 

    2. There are a few other settings that you can adjust mid-experiment by pressing 'e' 
      1. trial duration: If participants (particularly patients) are having a hard time with the speed of the trials
      2. target vowel duration boundaries: if participants (particularly patients) are having a hard time getting the right duration feedback (not due to OST issues), you can loosen the boundaries for what is considered to be a good duration. Ideally you should only increase the maximum; participants must go slow enough for them to be able to react to the perturbation
      3. LPC Order: if you notice that the formants are not tracking the way they should be, the LPC order may be off. 
      4. RMS ratio threshold: this is the parameter that limits when formants can be tracked relative to how much energy there is in the high frequencies. This is most useful for avoiding tracking formants during sibilants. The default value is 2.5, which should be pretty good. Higher values are more restrictive, lower values will allow more tracking. 
        1. NOTE: 2.5 is 1/0.4. Audapter's coding uses 0.4 for the actual OST tracking, but has it inverted for the threshold. 

If Matlab crashes during the experiment

To restart taimComp in the event of a crash: 

  1. Type in run_taimComp_expt and hit enter
  2. Type in simple/hard (depending on what version you have been doing) 
  3. Type in the participant code
  4. You will then be asked if you want to load in their expt file (which should exist already from the first attempt at running). Type y
  5. You will be asked if you want to OVERWRITE their expt file. Click CANCEL
  6. The script will then look for which modules have already been done. If a data file already exists in each module (LPC order, OST testing, duration training), it will let you know and ask if you want to redo that phase anyway. If there is NOT a data file in one of those modules, that means that you didn't complete that module and will automatically redo it
    1. Note: if you didn't get to segmentation in OST pretest, you should redo it anyway 
  7. If you were in the middle of the main experiment, it will start you back where you were 
    1. Note: if you didn't get to the first trial of the perturbation phase, it will start over from trial 1. 

 




Keywords:how to run, cerebellar, time, OST, taimComp, compensation   Doc ID:122062
Owner:Robin K.Group:Speech Motor Neuroscience Group
Created:2022-10-21 17:41 CSTUpdated:2022-12-14 13:09 CST
Sites:Speech Motor Neuroscience Group
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