Investigating pupillometry as a reliable measure of individual’s listening effort
Pupillometry as a tool indicating listening effort has been extensively analyzed on a group level, but less is known about how reliable pupil dilation is as an indicator of an individual’s listening effort. The aim of this study was to investigate the reliability of the pupil dilation measured during a speech-in-noise task as an indicator of an individual’s listening effort. The pupil dilation of 27 normal-hearing (NH) and 24 hearing-impaired (HI) participants was recorded while they performed a speech-in-noise test on two different days. Measures of intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) absolute agreement were considered in the analysis. The ICC was applied to the peak and mean pupil dilation as well as to the different terms resulting from fitting a third-order orthogonal polynomial within growth curve analysis (intercept, 1st order, 2nd order and 3rd order terms), which are assumed to provide further information about temporal changes of the pupil dilation. High values of test-retest reliability were found on some measures of the pupil response. Furthermore, a Bland-Altman analysis was applied as a graphical representation of the reliability of the pupillometry. The results showed different levels of reliability depending on the different features of the pupil response (slope, rise-fall and mean pupil dilation for the HI listeners; rise-fall, delay and mean pupil dilation for NH).
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