All during this process, the COM program is collecting position data from the cat's eye (and, optionally, ear and head) and also neuronal spike data, as a function of time. After the animal either receives the reward or fails to spot a stimulus properly, the program will continue to collect data for the time period spontim (the spontaneous recording time). At the end of this time period, the trial, or task, is marked as finished, and the program then pauses for a prescribed duration known as the inter-sequence delay. (See the parameters isdrew and isdnorew.) After this, a new trial is begun. The trial process is illustrated in Figure 1.
Explanation of terms for sensory probe tasks:
|first stimulus||Led1 or speaker1, or both. See spk1flg and led1sel parameters to disable one or both. In Figure 1, speaker1 is disabled.|
|second stimulus||Led2 or speaker2, or both. See spk2flg and led2sel parameters to disable one or both. In Figure 1, both led2 and speaker2 are used.|
|DSS dur||Duration of auditory stimulus (speaker2 above). It depends on the duration of the stimulus waveform, as stored in the DSS. It can be less than stim2dur, but not greater than it. See also stimtyp parameter.|
|SY||Starting point of trial.|
|L1||Time that led1 and/or speaker1 turns on. See led1strt parameter.|
|W1||Time that animal spots into window of first stimulus.|
|L2||Time that led2 and/or speaker2 turns on. See led2strt parameter, which must be negative for sensory probe trials. It is measured from the end of the first stimulus, so that L2 occurs before the first stimulus is over.|
|R||Time that animal receives reward.|
|E||End of trial.|
In order to execute sensory probe trials in the COM program, the user must set up the following files:
Note that while a given trial is being executed, the user can type one of several available commands. The program will complete the current trial (so as not to disturb the timing of the trial), and will then process the command that has been typed.
Com Program Documentation -- General
Glossary of Parameters -- definitions of all parameters used