WritingStimulusDeliveryPrograms - Methods

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Writing stimulus delivery programs

Languages

Visual Basic

A Microsoft language, with a slick development environment, which is quick to develop in, fast and flexible. It allows easy integration with the vast range of Windows components, including those in the "Useful tools" section below.

The new version is VB.Net, which runs on the "Microsoft .Net Framework", which allows easy integration with other .Net languages such as C#. These languages are interoperable, with users able to extend programs written in one language with another.

The free versions of VB.Net

The older version, Visual Basic 6, is gradually being phased out, so if you are new to programming, choose VB.Net.

C#

A new language somewhat like C or Java, but running on the .Net Framework. The most refined of the .Net languages.

Cogent (runs under Matlab)

A piece of software from various London labs http://www.vislab.ucl.ac.uk/Cogent/

Eprime

The successor to "Psyscope" and "Mel", this point & click program is good for non-programmers, who wish to write fairly simple experiments. It does have a scripting back end that is like Visual Basic. While quite flexible, it does have its limits, and sometimes ends up more complicated and harder to set up than when using a full programming language.

Useful tools for Windows

  • ScannerSync for synchronising with the scanner

  • DirectX. You'll need this if you want tight control of your visual or auditory presentation. Designed for games, it allows complete use of the hardware. Most people in the unit still use DirectX 7 (DirectDraw) but in due course we must switch to more recent versions. Check out msdn.microsoft.com/directx

  • Other (partly obsolete) help not yet transferred to Wiki at http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/vb