, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 322-327

Expe: An expandable programming language for on-line psychological experiments

Abstract

EXPE is a DOS program for the design and running of experiments that involve the presentation of audio or visual stimuli and the collection of on-line or off-line behavioral responses. Its flexibility also makes it a useful tool for the rapid design of protocols for testing neuropsychological patients. EXPE provides a powerful scripting language that allows the user to specify all the components of an experiment in a human readable file. Subjects’ responses are saved in a user-specified format as well as in readable ASCII files. The user can easily add new commands to the language: All the instructions are calls to functions written in independent Borland Pascal units. Thus, users can link their own Pascal procedures to EXPE to meet virtually any special need. This makes it possible, for example, to adapt EXPE to new hardware, such as new sound or video boards.

This article was written while C.P. was supported by a LAVOISIER grant from the French ministry of foreign affairs and then by a grant from the FYSSEN foundation. The audio functions rely on modules programmed by Xavier Jeannin at the LSCP in Paris, and by John Mertus at Brown University.