The SERCOM Program is used in determining neuronal responses to various auditory and/or visual stimuli. It is generally run before the COM (Cat OculoMotor) program, to get an idea of which types of stimuli should be presented during a run of COM.
Running SERCOM is very similar to running the SER (Search Stimulus) program -- a stimulus is generated by the DSS (Digital Stimulus System), and the neuronal response is displayed graphically. One major difference is that SERCOM is a free field setup, with a single auditory stimulus presented via one of 15 speakers positioned at various locations. Another difference is that SERCOM offers the option of a visual stimulus in addition to the auditory stimulus. There are 15 possible locations for a visual stimulus, each corresponding to the location of one of the speakers.
While SERCOM is a searching tool, it also has the option of saving the response data corresponding to a given stimulus. When first calling SERCOM, the user is asked to specify a data file (which has been previously created and set up). 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 given data file. After storing such a data set, SERCOM continues its search stimulus and data display, and will not store further data unless the user again types the appropriate command. SERCOM 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 SCH019, 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 3 available auditory stimulus choices for more information on storing response data.
After the user specifies the name of the data file to be used, the available stimulus options will be displayed, and the user must choose one of them. To do this, one types the single letter code of the desired option. (It is not necessary to type the RETURN key here.)
The optiopns menu looks like this:
The following options are available: P -- Tone Pips C -- Clicks N -- Noise 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 3 available options are described in the following documents.
Tone Pips, Clicks, Noise,