Wednesday 15 June 2016

Chronos Review Part 2: Tutorial

The fun, inspiring scientist and his serious, literary brother.
In the previous instalment of this review, I channeled the tech reviewer spirit (e.g. The Verge) whilst writing a lighthearted review of the Chronos, PST's new, USB-powered response box. I will fully admit that I do not believe that the serious scientific stoicism that supposedly graced our scholarly ancestors is necessarily a pedagogically sound strategy, but I apologise if I over-corrected here and there. Rest assured, in the following 3000 words or so, I will provide much more useful information by ways of a Chronos tutorial. I will first shortly explain the theoretical background of an experimental paradigm we call action-effect learning. Following, I will give a The E-Primer style step by step instruction on how to make the experiment, for example using Chronos. I will consistently expect the reader to already know The E-Primer by heart and will therefore not need much information on the E-Prime structure, code, attributes, and so on. Instead, the aim is that someone who is more or less versed in the ways of E-Prime will, by the end of the tutorial, be able to use the Chronos:

•    As a low latency audio device
•    As a response ("button") box
•    As a voice volume level triggering device
•    As a stimulus device (using its five multicoloured LEDs)

By that time, you will also notice my newly recovered seriousness seriously faltering, as I end the whole ordeal by ending the reviewer in classic tech style: with a conclusion featuring "grades".

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Chronos Review Part 1: General overview

Saturn (image from Wikipedia) was not responsible.
In today’s long awaited next instalment of the E-Primer blog, I’ll be demonstrating some of the fun capabilities of the Serial Response Box 2: the Chronos. No, not that Saturn guy with the big appetite, but he who split the world apart to form the earth, sea and sky. Plutarch failed to mention, however, that you can now acquire such superpowers from Psychology Software Tools and unleash some seriously time-shattering accuracy on your psychology experiments.

Anyway, in this review, I will discuss:

•    How to add the Cronos to your experiment;
•    How to light up the lab using its LEDs and
•    How to add the voicekey.

I'm also presenting an unboxing video and showing off my virtuoso Windows Critical Stop Piano skills. Next week (I can confidently state as I already wrote this part), I provide a Chronos walk-through featuring a pretty nice and theoretically sound experiment as a tutorial.

Let’s go!

Wednesday 10 February 2016

E-Prime vs Surface Pro 4: High PPI woes

A little while ago, I (Michiel) promised a review of E-Prime on the new Surface Pro 4 (SP4). The idea is this: given that these machines are developed by the same company (i.e. Microsoft), they should all work in rather similar ways, so that, for once, we have that rare thing in the non-Mac community: a common experience. Apart from the convenience in terms of transferable user experience or bug reporting, this has obvious benefits for experimental design and replicability in particular. Furthermore, PST did extensive testing with the SP3, and I hope they keep that up, creating a kind of optimal experimental experience with a single device having known benefits and drawbacks. Finally, being into motor control and perception-action integration research, I am obviously keen on using the touch and pen in experiments.

So, full of good cheer, I started with E-Prime ( running on Windows 10 build 10586 and quickly ran into problems.

Thursday 14 January 2016

New Year - New Prime

Flexible RT pad
Happy new year! And with a new year, how about a new E-Prime? While that is of course up to the developers, strategists and other folks over at Psychology Software Tools, we can always hope. In the meantime, I - Michiel blogging here - can do at least a bit in renewing E-PrimeR with the tools currently available. Specifically, I came up with the belated new year's resolution of starting to actively maintain this very blog. It's a bit of work, I suppose, and I'm sure sooner or later I'll forget about it again, but on the bright side: as a resolution, it clearly beats doing something about my bad habits!

As a scientist, I like to predict what should happen before the data are actually collected. In the present blog post, I will describe some of the  forthcoming articles so you have something to look forward to in 2016.