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Presentation Software

EEG recordings in an experimental environment during a certain cognitive task require stimuli that can induce changes in the neuronal networks that are under investigation. The stimulus may be visual or auditory depending on the aim of the research but in either case the synchronization of stimulus presentation with the induced neuronal activation is compulsory. This synchronization demands full control on stimulus manipulation in the experimental task. We have listed well-known stimulus presentation software available for fulfilling the requirements of researchers in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2 Stimulus presentation software





E-Prime is software designed to fulfill the computerized experimental need of researchers working in psychology, neurosciences, and biomedical areas. Presently E-Prime is being used in more than 5000 institutions in 60 countries. It provides a friendly environment in which to design simple to complex experiments and can be used by novices and advanced users as well. The E-Prime suites consist of E-Studio, E-Basic, E-Run, E-Merge, E-DataAid, and E-Recovery. All these packages enable the user to design experiments via drag-and- drop graphical interface, program in the scripting language, save data files, merge single-subject data files for group analysis, and perform data filtering, editing, analysis, and recovery of corrupted files. There is a long list of features including variety of stimulus support, interfacing with external devices, installation options, and experiment design. It is compatible with Windows and requires minimum dual-core 2 GHz with 1GB RAM, DirectX, and USB port. For more details about working in E-Prime, see the documentation and tutorial at


Millisecond Software was founded in 1999 by Sean Draine in Seattle, Washington. Millisecond provides Inquisit for psychological testing. The applications of Inquisit are clinical trials, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, behavioral economics, decision making, human-computer interaction, sports, and psychology. A typical experiment designed in Inquisit consists of a single script file, plus any sporting media files, such as image, video, or sound, that are to be presented in the experiment as a stimuli. The structure of the scripting file of the experiment defines the components such as stimuli, trials, blocks of trials, and pages of instructions for the user, as well as the interaction of these components. The Inquisit programming has two simple syntactic constructions: elements and attributes. Each element has set of attributes that determine how that element behaves and corresponds to a component of the experiment (blocks, trials, stimuli). For details on experiment design in Inquisit, browse the manuals available at http://www.

Table 1.2 Stimulus presentation software (Continued) Software Description


Presentation is software for the display and arrangement of the stimulus in experiments for neuroscience. It can work on Windows and uses standard PC hardware. It was designed for behavioral and physiological experimentations that collect fMRI, ERP, EEG, and MEG data. Some of the main features of Presentation are multitasking, visual (including 3D images) and auditory stimuli control, eye tracker interfacing, synchronization with fMRI, programmability, and interfacing with external software such as MATLAB. To learn about experiment design with Presentation, see the tutorials available online at https://


Paradigm is software for stimulus presentation and control. The building blocks of Paradigm (Trials, Blocks, and Stimulus) are the same as other experiment design software. However, it allows designing experiments for mobile applications. It gives access to trigger commands through its Python scripting interface.

The trigger accuracy is in milliseconds with EEG/EMG or TMS devices. It allows using USB port to parallel port. The programming guidelines and documentation about experiment design are available online at http://www.paradigmexperiments. com/Support/Docs/.


SuperLab software is designed for researchers, not for programmers. Its cross-platform allows use on either Mac or Windows. It supports many stimulus types such as pictures, movies, text, sound, rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), and self-paced reading. Many other features include randomization, looping, feedback, stimulus lists, and contingencies. It supports input devices including keyboard, mouse, touch screen, microphone, RB series, lumina, SV-1 and PST serial response box. For more details about experiment design in SuperLab, see the manual available online at


This is an open-source application designed for stimulus

presentation and data collection for wide range of neuroscience and psychology experimental research. It is free and is more powerful than other alternative software such as Presentation or E-Prime. It combines the graphical features of OpenGL with Python to give scientists a free and simple solution to stimulus presentation and control application. Since the software is open- source, it is easily modifiable. The advantages of using PsychoPy are platform independence, precise timing, multimonitor support, automatic monitor calibration, variety of stimuli, and simple installation. For more details on building experiments, see the documentation available online at http://www.psychopy. org/documentation.html.

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