15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


Multi-Subject Hardware for Experiment Control and Precise Reaction Time Measurement

Henning Reetz, Achim Kleinmann

University of Konstanz, Germany

Presenting auditory or visual stimuli and recording push-button reactions with millisecond-precision is a common task in behaviouristic experiments. Programming dedicated software on a computer system or using dedicated hardware is usually time-consuming and depends usually on specific computer hardware and/or software versions. Furthermore, precise timing on a general purpose computer is problematic due to the unknown behaviour of the operating system, even with nowadays very fast computers.
   The concept of a Hard-Software-System is presented that is build around a single-chip 8051-type micro-controller programmed in C, with a serial or USB interface to a 'host'-computer, inputs for up to 16 3-buttons panels with headphone outputs, a switched VGA-channel, and an audio-interface for a CD/DAT/MD-player that controls the system with sample-precise timing instructions. The presentation here is not a complete description of a hard- and software but rather the main concepts are presented to allow the self-assembly by a technician.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Reetz, Henning / Kleinmann, Achim (2003): "Multi-subject hardware for experiment control and precise reaction time measurement", In ICPhS-15, 1489-1492.