Settings for using E-Prime in the Waisman fMRI Lab.

 

Using the TTL from the scanner to trigger the start of an experiment

To automatically start your Eprime experiment in-synch with the start of fMRI acquisition, you need to set up a Port object (in the Experiment object at the top of the experiment structure) with the address &H28a – call this Port1. Then set up a blank screen right before the start of the experiment and enable response input through Port1. Set the duration of the blank screen to ‘infinite’, set the response to the same duration, and set the response action to ‘terminate’. It’s a good idea to have a mouse response set up in the same way so that if something goes wrong with the TTL port, you can trigger the experiment with a mouse click.

Sending event marker codes to the skin conductance acquisition PC

Event codes can be sent to the skin conductance acquisition PC through port &H278 (a parallel port). Codes can be any integer from 0-255. Usually it’s a good idea to send a code right before the onset of an event/stimulus/trial, and then following that event/stimulus/trial send 0 to the port. This is done using an inline script and the writeport command. E.g.:

writeport &H278,2

Starting and stopping eye tracking from Eprime

Eye tracking can be started and stopped by sending the appropriate command strings to the serial port COM2. To start, you need to set up a Serial Port object (in the Experiment object at the top of the experiment structure) with the port COM2 – call this Serial2. Bits per second should be set to 9600, with 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and Parity set to none. Then use inline scripts to send text strings through this port. The complete set of possible commands in available in the SMI manual (available from Michael Anderle or Rom Fisher by request). Here are some examples:

To clear the eye tracking buffer:

serial2.FlushOutBuffer

strData = "ET_CLR" & Chr(10)

Serial2.WriteString strData

To start eye tracking:

strData = "ET_REC" & Chr(10)

Serial2.WriteString strData

 

To stop eye tracking:

 

strData = "ET_STP" & Chr(10)

Serial2.WriteString strData

 

To save eyetracking data in a file with a subject, session, and scan run-dependent filename:

runNum = runNum + 1

fileName = str(c.GetAttrib("Subject")) & "_" & str(c.GetAttrib("Session")) & "_" & str(runNum) & ".DAT"

strData = "ET_SAV C:\\DATA\\MYSTUDY\\" & fileName & Chr(13)

Serial2.WriteString strData