Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Paper in Journal of Neuropsychological Methods: PEBL and the PEBL Test Battery




I just published a paper with Brian Piper called  The Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL) and PEBL Test Battery (see here for paper)
that provides the most comprehensive description of PEBL to date.  Above I show an (updated) figure from that paper showing the overall growth in PEBL usage over time.  The final tally for 2013 was about 17000 downloads of the pebl installer (22,000 downloads total including other files like manuals), and about 55 published manuscripts, theses, conference papers, etc. that I know of.
The grown in actual installer downloads continues an almost linear growth  trend of +4000/year we have seen since around 2008.  Notice that the blue line, total downloads, has dipped a bit since 2011. This is because that was the point when I started including the test battery as part of PEBL, instead of as a separate download.

The paper serves a few important roles.  First, many users have previously failed to cite PEBL in their papers, or have cited or footnoted it in ways that don't get 'counted' in standard indices.  This paper provides an easy way to cite PEBL, so please do so if you use it.  Next, it provides a fairly detailed citation record for the test battery (now 70+ tests strong).  This table will help users identify tests, and track down past research using similar tests.  Next, the paper contains some timing accuracy achievable via PEBL.  For these tests, I used a Razer blackwidow keyboard, which claims to have 1-ms polling accuracy.  I was not able to achieve such precision, but the 5-ms precision we observed is certainly acceptable for all but a few applications.  Finally, the paper contains a discussion (rant) about trademarks, copyright, patents, and ethical aspects of the open testing movement.  I get a lot of questions from users about these, and so if you are curious about the legality of using PEBL tests, the answers are there.

And just to reiterate, the paper can be cited as:

Mueller, S. T. & Piper, B. J. (2014). The Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL) and PEBL Test Battery. Journal of  Neuroscience Methods, 222, 250-259. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2013.10.024.
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