Best Practices and Advice for Using Pupillometry to Measure Listening Effort: An Introduction for Those Who Want to Get Started

  title={Best Practices and Advice for Using Pupillometry to Measure Listening Effort: An Introduction for Those Who Want to Get Started},
  author={Matthew B. Winn and Dorothea Wendt and Thomas Koelewijn and Stefanie E. Kuchinsky},
  journal={Trends in Hearing},
Within the field of hearing science, pupillometry is a widely used method for quantifying listening effort. Its use in research is growing exponentially, and many labs are (considering) applying pupillometry for the first time. Hence, there is a growing need for a methods paper on pupillometry covering topics spanning from experiment logistics and timing to data cleaning and what parameters to analyze. This article contains the basic information and considerations needed to plan, set up, and… 

Figures from this paper

Pupillometry as a measure for listening effort in children: a review
Abstract Purpose Listening effort can be defined as the deliberate allocation of mental resources to overcome obstacles when carrying out a listening task. Requiring mental resources, it may detract
Methods in Cognitive Pupillometry: Design, Preprocessing, and Statistical Analysis
Cognitive pupillometry is the measurement of pupil size to investigate cognitive processes such as attention, mental effort, working memory, and many others. Currently, there is no commonly
Pupillometry in children: a good method for assessing listening effort
The additional cognitive effort required during listening activity, for example in case of inadequate acoustic conditions, may lead to a general worsening of cognitive performances, especially in
Effortful listening under the microscope: Examining relations between pupillometric and subjective markers of effort and tiredness from listening.
The data suggest that the effect of task difficulty on the experience of tiredness from listening may go undetected using the traditional approach of collecting a single data point at the end of a listening block.
Systematic Comparison of Trial Exclusion Criteria for Pupillometry Data Analysis in Individuals With Single-Sided Deafness and Normal Hearing
Speech intelligibility in the SSD group decreased significantly more than the normal hearing group from quiet to masker conditions, but the change in pupil dilation was similar for both groups, consistent with previous studies that have found a relationship between blinking and task difficulty.
PupillometryR: An R package for preparing and analysing pupillometry data
Pupillometry, measured using automated eye- tracking technology, provides a methodology that is cheaper than most neuroimaging techniques, but more powerful than many behavioural measures, such as overall looking time measurements common to eye-tracking experiments.
The Effects of Task Difficulty Predictability and Noise Reduction on Recall Performance and Pupil Dilation Responses
Task difficulty predictability did not have an effect on resource allocation, since recall performance was similar independently of whether task difficulty was predictable or unpredictable, and pupillometry captured processes which the SWIR test does not capture.
Pupillometry as an objective measure of sustained attention in young and older listeners
The results demonstrate that pupillometry can be a reliable and time-sensitive measure of the effort associated with attentive tracking over long durations in both young and (with some caveats) older listeners.
Using Pupil Dilation to Measure Cognitive Load When Listening to Text-to-Speech in Quiet and in Noise
The results show that, in quiet listening conditions, pupil dilation does not reflect listening effort but rather attention and engagement, and in noisy conditions, increased pupils dilation indicates that listening effort increases as signal-to-noise ratio decreases, under all conditions tested.


Objective Assessment of Listening Effort: Coregistration of Pupillometry and EEG
Pupil dilation and alpha power change appeared to be sensitive to changes in spectral resolution (channel vocoding), while pupil dilation only was also significantly related to their true performance levels (%) and task accuracy (i.e., whether the response was correctly or partially recalled).
Monitoring Alpha Oscillations and Pupil Dilation across a Performance-Intensity Function
The results of this study suggest that these measures may encode different processes involved in speech perception, which show similar trends for highly intelligible speech, but diverge for more spectrally degraded speech.
The Pupil Dilation Response to Auditory Stimuli: Current State of Knowledge
In conclusion, measuring the pupil dilation response to auditory stimuli has been demonstrated to be sensitive method applicable to numerous research questions, and the sensitivity of the measure calls for carefully designed stimuli.
Mapping and correcting the influence of gaze position on pupil size measurements
This work systematically map pupil foreshortening error (PFE) using an artificial eye model and then applies a geometric model correction to correct it.
Listening effort and fatigue: What exactly are we measuring? A British Society of Audiology Cognition in Hearing Special Interest Group ‘white paper’
It is suggested that researchers consider assumptions about the nature of these phenomena and their behavioural and physiological manifestations when interpreting data and, where possible, make predictions based on current theoretical knowledge to add to the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of listening effort and listening-related fatigue.
Pupil Dilation Uncovers Extra Listening Effort in the Presence of a Single-Talker Masker
To maintain similar intelligibility levels, participants needed more mental effort for speech perception in the presence of a single-talker masker and then with the two other types of maskers, which suggests an additive interfering effect of speech information from the single- Talker Masker.
Portable Infrared Pupillometry: A Review
An introduction to the physiology of pupillary reflexes and the currently established clinical applications of infrared pupillometry is presented, which will hopefully encourage physicians to use this diagnostic tool in their clinical practice.
Pupil Response as an Indication of Effortful Listening: The Influence of Sentence Intelligibility
Results support that listening effort, as indicated by the pupil response, increases with decreasing speech intelligibility, and indicates that pupillometry can be used to examine how listeners reach a certain performance level.