OBAT: An open-source and low-cost operant box for auditory discriminative tasks

  • Mauricio Watanabe Ribeiro
  • José Firmino Rodrigues Neto
  • Edgard Morya
  • Fabrício Lima Brasil
  • Mariana Ferreira Pereira de Araújo
Article

DOI: 10.3758/s13428-017-0906-6

Cite this article as:
Ribeiro, M.W., Neto, J.F.R., Morya, E. et al. Behav Res (2017). doi:10.3758/s13428-017-0906-6

Abstract

Operant-conditioning boxes are widely used in animal training, allowing researchers to shape specific behaviors through reinforcements and/or punishments. Commercially available devices are expensive and run with proprietary software and hardware, hampering adaptations for the specific needs of an experiment. Therefore, many low-cost and open-source devices have recently been developed, but there are still few options for studying auditory behaviors. To overcome this problem, we developed a device based on a computer and an Arduino Mega 2560 board, named OBAT (Operant Box for Auditory Tasks), designed to present two different auditory stimuli to small primates. It has three modules: sound delivery, response bars, and reward system. We estimate that OBAT is at least 4–10 times cheaper than commercially available operant-conditioning boxes. Data from a behavioral pilot test ensured that the device can be used to train a marmoset in an auditory discrimination task. In addition, despite its low cost, accuracy tests showed that the OBAT operates with a high temporal precision. All schematics and software source code are available so that other groups can easily replicate the experiment or adapt the device to their own needs.

Keywords

Operant-conditioning box Auditory processing Discriminative learning Arduino 

Supplementary material

13428_2017_906_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
ESM 1(DOCX 1165 kb)
13428_2017_906_MOESM2_ESM.wmv (2.5 mb)
ESM 2(WMV 2525 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Ministério da Educação
    Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior
      Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos
        INCT-INCEMAQ
          Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
            Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Rio Grande do Norte

              Copyright information

              © Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2017

              Authors and Affiliations

              • Mauricio Watanabe Ribeiro
                • 1
                • 2
                • 3
              • José Firmino Rodrigues Neto
                • 1
                • 2
              • Edgard Morya
                • 1
                • 2
              • Fabrício Lima Brasil
                • 1
                • 2
              • Mariana Ferreira Pereira de Araújo
                • 1
                • 2
              1. 1.Graduate Program in NeuroengineeringEdmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience, Santos Dumont InstituteMacaibaBrazil
              2. 2.Alberto Santos Dumont Association for Research SupportMacaíbaBrazil
              3. 3.Hospital Israelita Albert EinsteinMorumbiBrazil

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