The laboratory microcomputer has become a crucial tool for building and conducting behavioral studies. As operating systems become increasingly complex, students and researchers find that they must devote hundreds of hours to program new experiments from the ground up. We propose to develop a powerful new environment which runs on the two major computer platforms used in behavioral research (Intel/Windows and Macintosh), and which will allow behavioral researchers to build, conduct and analyze the results from experiments in an interactive graphical (and extensible) environment requiring little or no programming skills. This new lingua franca will include these six components: 1) a graphical design environment based on a factor table, 2) user-accessible Visual Basic, 3) a multi-threaded real- time engine, 4) a Programmer's Toolkit for building plug-in extensions, 5) a data analysis translation system, and 6) a subject management system. This project involves the synthesis of the two systems currently in widest use in behavioral research, MEL Professional and PsyScope. It will have a rapid and widespread impact on the estimated 4000 users of the current systems and is expected to emerge as a universally accepted tool for behavioral research.
Commercial behavioral research experiment generator software is in use in universities, commercial laboratories and hospitals for research and assessment in many areas including: psychology, sociology, education, human factors, medical evaluation and business decision making. It is used for basic research and applied research in human assessment, monitoring drug effects, human factors design personnel & medical assessment, advertising & communication effectiveness in a growing market.