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Software for running psychoacoustic experiments

Current research in the field of psychoacoustics is mostly conducted using a computer to generate and present the stimuli and to collect the responses of the subject. However, writing the computer software to do this is time-consuming and requires technical expertise that is not possessed by many would-be researchers. Professor Aleksander Sek and Professor Brian Moore have developed a software package that makes it possible to set up and conduct a wide variety of experiments in psychoacoustics without the need for time-consuming programming or technical expertise. The only requirements are a personal computer (PC) with a good-quality sound card and a set of headphones. Parameters defining the stimuli and procedure are entered via boxes on the screen and drop-down menus. Possible experiments include measurement of the absolute threshold, simultaneous and forward masking (including notched-noise masking), comodulation masking release, intensity and frequency discrimination, amplitude-modulation detection and discrimination, gap detection, discrimination of interaural time and level differences, measurement of sensitivity to temporal fine structure, and measurement of the binaural masking level difference. The software is intended to be useful both for researchers and for students who want to try psychoacoustic experiments for themselves, which can be very valuable in helping them gain a deeper understanding of auditory perception.


Comprehensive instructions for using the software are contained in a new book: Sęk, A. P., and Moore, B. C. J. (2021). Guide to PSYCHOACOUSTICS (Adam Mickiewicz University Press, Poznan, Poland), pp. 348. DOI: 10.14746/amup.9788323239321

Within a single volume, the book contains a version in Polish and a version in English. You can buy the book via the publisher's website:

Click on the small EN at the top of the web page to get some of the information in English. 


Installing the software 

The software installation package is called PSYCHOACOUSTICS_Install.msi 

When the software is downloaded, some computer systems may remove the file extension “.msi”. If your system does this, the file extension must be restored by “re-naming” the file. 

System requirements are Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, or 10. The software requires about 25 Mbytes of disk space. The software requires that Net Framework 3.5 is installed. If you have a later version of Net Framework, you can still install Net Framework 3.5. Hardware requirements are a 16-bit or 24-bit sound card. A 24-bit card is recommended. The software may also work with a 32-bit sound card, but in this case only 24-bit signals are sent to the sound card. 

The software package should be copied to any suitable location on your PC. It is recommended to close all programs (also called applications) before installing the software. You will need to log in as “administrator” in order to install the software. To install the software, simply click on PSYCHOACOUSTICS_Install.msi and follow the prompts. Your PC may give you a message that the vendor is not trusted. If so, you should “instruct” your PC to proceed anyway. Your PC may also ask you if you want to allow the software to modify your PC. If so, instruct it “yes”. By default, the software will be installed on your default drive in the following folder. 


The installation software should put an icon on your PC screen that looks like an ear and is labelled “PSYCHOACOUSTICS”. 

Download (External page)



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