The Search Stimulus Program is used as a tool in determining neuronal unit responses to various auditory stimuli. With it, a stimulus is generated by the DSS (Digital Stimulus System), and the neuronal response is displayed graphically. The format of the display depends on the type of stimulus being generated. There are 5 types of stimuli available -- FM sweep, tone pips, clicks, noise, and dual tones.
While SER was first developed as a searching tool, it has now been enhanced to allow for the possibility of storing current response data in a data file. The user must set up a data file prior to calling SER. Then, at any point during the search, one can give a command to store the data from the current stimulus in a specific data set within the data file. After storing such a data set, SER continues its search stimulus and data display, and will not store further data unless the user again types the appropriate command. SER is not designed for collecting and storing consecutive sets of response data, without interaction from the user. The data that are ultimately saved are stored according to a schema named SCH016, and can be analyzed with analysis tools that are provided for data saved by the neurophysiology Data Collection Program (DCP). Please see the descriptions of the 5 available stimulus choices for more information on storing response data.
Note that even if no data will be stored during the SER program, the user must have a data file set up, with an initial data set ID name chosen, before calling SER. This is because SER displays the current data set ID information in some of its displays and printouts, even if no new data set is stored. So, if SER gives a message that it can not find the current data set, it is possibly looking at the name of the previous data file and data set used by the last user, and one must then exit and setup a data file and data set name for use with SER.
When the user calls the SER program, a list of the available options is displayed. To choose one of these options, a single letter code must be typed. (It is not necessary to type a CARRIAGE RETURN here.) The options menu looks like this:
The following options are available: F -- FM Sweep P -- Tone Pips C -- Clicks N -- Noise D -- Dual Tones Type the SINGLE LETTER CODE of the option you want. Option: (To exit, type CTRL-Z or 'e' or 'E')
After choosing one of the stimulus options, the user will be presented with a new menu of parameters. Each of the options has its own menu, containing parameters associated with that stimulus. The 5 available options are described in the following documents.
FM Sweep, Tone Pips, Clicks, Noise, Dual Tones