Author Topic: Stimulus Control: a teaching machine for free behavioral experiments  (Read 371 times)


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Hi everyone,

Some background about me
I am Rafael Picanço (cpicanco), a Ph.D. student studying recombinatory reading skills with a behavioral approach. Approximately 10 years ago, I began editing the source code of a Delphi 7 program called "Emparelhamento ao Modelo (EAM)", that can be translated to "Matching-to-sample (MTS)". The software was used to present experiments for monkeys in the "Experimental School for Primates" lab. Fast forward, I ported it to Lazarus, gave it a hip new identity – "Stimulus Control" – and even threw in a fancy rewrite. Today, I am conducting experiments with humans and maintaining a version of the sotware for my monkey buddies as well.

What is Stimulus Control?
Stimulus control, in the context of Experimental Analysis of Behavior, refers to the influence that certain stimuli have on behavior. It is the idea that behaviors are more likely to occur in the presence of specific stimuli or cues. Let me give you a really simple example of the conditional control that may be exerted by stimuli. Green means go, red means stop, and yellow is the universe's way of saying, "Hey, maybe start stopping – but no rush!  :D" 🚦

"Stimulus Control" aligns with the concept of event-driven programming and conditional execution. Specially for humans with normal vision, experiments will normally require custom built graphical user interfaces. For example, I am currently studying the development of recombinatory reading using pseseudowords and eye tracking with a rather complicated design. If you are curious enough, here is the source Hanna et al (2011).

Stimulus Control is the name of the project, the codebase I am using to write experiments for my scientific community. As I frequently deal with teaching procedures and the sofware is released under GPL3, I am used to say that

Stimulus Control is a teaching machine for free behavioral experiments. Free as in Freedom.

You can find the latest updates here:
« Last Edit: December 14, 2023, 11:40:02 pm by cpicanco »
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