Auditory presentation and synchronization in Adobe Flash and HTML5/JavaScript Web experiments

Reimers, S. & Stewart, N. (2016). Auditory presentation and synchronization in Adobe Flash and HTML5/JavaScript Web experiments. Behavior Research Methods, 48(3), pp. 897-908. doi: 10.3758/s13428-016-0758-5

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Substantial recent research has examined the accuracy of presentation durations and response time measurements for visually presented stimuli in Web-based experiments, with a general conclusion that accuracy is acceptable for most kinds of experiments. However, many areas of behavioral research use auditory stimuli instead of, or in addition to, visual stimuli. Much less is known about auditory accuracy using standard Web-based testing procedures. We used a millisecond-accurate Black Box Toolkit to measure the actual durations of auditory stimuli and the synchronization of auditory and visual presentation onsets. We examined the distribution of timings for 100 presentations of auditory and visual stimuli across two computers with difference specs, three commonly used browsers, and code written in either Adobe Flash or JavaScript. We also examined different coding options for attempting to synchronize the auditory and visual onsets. Overall, we found that auditory durations were very consistent, but that the lags between visual and auditory onsets varied substantially across browsers and computer systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Web, Internet, Audio, Synchronization, JavaScript
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology

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