Creating stimuli for BITTSy

Visual stimuli

Stimuli can be flashing lights with appropriate hardware; if so, any lights that plug into standard power outlets are usable. (See section on lights for hardware requirements.)

For stimuli presented over monitors, BITTSy relies on Microsoft Visual Studio; as such, BITTSy should (in theory) be able to handle any kind of media file that can be opened in default Windows programs such as Windows Media Player, since BITTSy is working with exactly the same system interfacing. It may be possible to download codecs to allow for additional formats, but we would recommend using the following:

Video formats: .wmv & .mp4

Image formats: .jpg, .png & .gif

When creating your stimulus files, keep in mind the aspect ratio and resolution of your display(s) on which they will be shown. BITTSy will display stimuli at full size, and could cut off an image or video that is sized too large. Visual stimuli that are smaller than the screen resolution will be displayed centered, with the default background color for that protocol shown behind it.

Note: If you wish to present multiple images on the single center monitor, you will need to build the image file to have both a left and right picture embedded within it as a single image. BITTSy presents images to the monitor as a full-screen image, rather than allowing multiple "windows" to appear on the same monitor. This decision was made to avoid having image windows that could appear off center in a monitor.

Audio stimuli

Sound output can either be in the form of audio files, or the sound portion of a video file in cases where synchronicity between video and audio is required. For audio files, we recommend the following:

Audio formats: .wav & .mp3

Audio can be encoded at the sample rate and bit depth of your choosing, as long as they are supported by your computer's sound driver. BITTSy does not require any particular settings, and does not downsample files.

You may have audio stimuli in .aiff format from previous experiments. AIFF is a Mac-specific format that will play on Windows, but may not play as intended. We recommend converting these.

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