[What is psylab]   [Licence]   [Download]   [Documentation]   [Quick start]   [History]   [Screenshots]   [Citation]

The Psylab distribution moved to GitHub. You can now also download the current release here: Psylab on Github

What is psylab?

"psylab" is a set of scripts, written in Matlab, which are designed to develop and automatically control a large variety of psychoacoustical detection- and discrimination-experiments in a fast and uniform way.
psylab was written by Martin Hansen at the Institut für Hörtechnik und Audiologie (IHA) at Jade Hochschule (University of Applied Sciences) in Oldenburg, where it is being used for teaching and research at the IHA. One aim is to provide the students in the psychoacoustics courses with a uniform and easy starting point for their own psychoacoustical experiments which are part of their assignments.
Currently, psylab features n-AFC experiments (n=2,3,4) with automatic adaptive control of the stimulus variable according to 1-up-1-down, 1-up-2-down, 2-up-1-down, weighted-up-down, etc. Interleaved runs of several (parallel) threshold estimations are also supported. The user of psylab only needs to develop the scripts which generate the intended acoustical stimuli for her experiment.

Licence of psylab

psylab is "free software" and is distributed in an OpenSource format under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). Have a look at the GNU GPL.

psylab is distributed in the hope to be useful for its users. Because psylab is licensed free of charge, psylab comes with absolutely NO warranty. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the program is with the user.

Special attention is drawn to the fact that there is no mechanism inside psylab that would prevent the presentation of too loud sound levels. It is the obligation of any user of psylab to make sure that the generated stimuli, in combination with the other equipment (sound card, amplifier, headphone or loudspeaker etc.) result in the desired sound levels.

Download psylab

We invite users who download psylab to leave a short note via email to, stating your intended use, how you heard about psylab, and the like. This is fully voluntary, but you will possibly benefit from this via announcements about new versions/features of psylab in the near or far future. Stay relaxed, your email will definitely not be used for any other purpose. Constructive comments about psylab are of course appreciated as well.

The current version of psylab can be downloaded on GitHub: Psylab on Github
or from here as version 2.8: *.zip-file

Upon download, simply include the extracted directory into your MATLAB path and off you go. Read the documentation in the "doc"-subdirectory or try the examples in the "examples"-subdirectory.

Documentation of psylab

The documentation is part of the psylab distribution. You will find it in the "doc"-subdirectory of the package. You can also find it here.

Quick start with psylab

The documentation contains a chapter about how to install and how to quickly start with psylab by the use of some example experiments.

History of psylab

psylab is based on many ideas of the program SI/SISG, which was developed as a free software during 1989 - 1992 at Drittes Physikalisches Institut, Universität Göttingen. SI/SISG carried the GNU GPL licence. SI ("Signalverarbeitung interaktiv") was written in Fortran by Dirk Püschel and René Koch and further colleagues and was used for digital signal generation and analysis. SISG, making use of SI, was written by Ralf Fassel, and was used for development, control, and data evaluation of psychoacoustical experiments.
The principle and organisation of psylab was inspired by its predecessor "SISG" in many ways and credits are expressed to the authors of SI/SISG.

Citation of psylab

If you would like to refer to psylab, you can cite the following publication (written in German):
  author =    {Hansen, M.},
  title =     {Lehre und Ausbildung in Psychoakustik mit psylab:
                  freie Software für psychoakustische Experimente}, 
  booktitle = {Fortschritte der Akustik -- DAGA~'06},
  pages =     {591--592},
  year =      2006,
  address =   {Braunschweig},
  publisher = {Dega},
  annote =    {first publication about psylab}
or you can refer to the documentation of psylab which is always at the following URL:

Screenshots of psylab

  3-AFC answer panel
  example run (result plot for one run)
   example data for two-parameter experiment
   example data for same two-parameter experiment, replotted with interchanged parameter order
Last update: Sep 29 2017