A system for quantitative analysis of associative learning. Part 2. Real-time software for MS-DOS microcomputers

Eisuke Akase, Lucien T. Thompson, John F. Disterhoft*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Microcomputer software was designed and used to control the timing and delivery of sensory stimuli and to acquire and analyze behavioral data during classical conditioning experiments. The software package runs under DOS 4.x through 6.x (earlier versions run under DOS 3.x) on PC AT-compatible microcomputers coupled with appropriate interface hardware (see Thompson et al., 1994). The software controls timed delivery of up to 8 conditional stimuli. It can collect behavioral data from 2 subjects simultaneously performing the same task (e.g., eyeblink responses) or from a single subject performing 2 different tasks (e.g., both eyeblink and conditional discrimination tasks), permitting its use in a number of experimental paradigms. Digital timing signals are adjustable for different stimulus output systems. Behavior is continuously monitored onscreen, ensuring consistent measurement across trials. Real-time performance measures of the presence or absence of conditioned responses allow coordination with external events (e.g., serum sampling, drug delivery, or single-unit recording). Quantitative measures are generated both for each trial and for complete sessions. Records are stored to disk and can be printed or merged for statistical analyses. Data can be archived on standard media, and internal software utilities translate files for export to PC and Macintosh™ programs. This system and the hardware described in the preceding paper combine ease of use with extremely replicable behavioral measurements across trials, sessions, subjects, cohorts, and studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • Associative learning
  • Behavioral response analysis
  • Eyeblink conditioning
  • Microcomputer software
  • Nictitating membrane response
  • Stimulus timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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