Advantage of stimtracker?

I am curious about the magnitude of the timing advantage offered by the new Stimtracker device. I have been using superlab to send timing signals to my biopac physio equipment during studies, and have generally been happy with the results. To date, though, my studies have primarily involved physio reactivity taking place over the course of seconds to minutes.

I am in the process of adding EEG equipment to my lab. Would it problematic to continue simply using my existing equipment–i.e. is the timing accuracy inadequate for ERP studies? I’m currently using Superlab and an RB-730 response pad for reaction time data, and simply sending timing signals to my Biopac equipment to mark the onset and offset of different tasks. Clearly, for ERP studies, I’ll need to send timing signals reflecting stimulus presentation, and participant responses. How much more accurate would the time-marking be with Stimtracker?

When sending event markers via an I/O card, or via a USB device such as the RB-730 or even StimTracker, there will be a few milliseconds delay. Whether this would be problematic for a particular study depends on the study itself. I am not qualified to determine that.

StimTracker offers two additional advantages over basic I/O:

  • Easy connectivity to a variety of EEG devices (literally plug-n-play). If you already have your hardware integrated, then this probably doesn't matter to you.
  • In addition to sending event markers via USB, StimTracker can detect the onset of stimuli using a photosensor. This eliminates any delays due to USB drivers and provides a true sub-millisecond accurate signal. (StimTracker can also mark audio signals)
I hope this information helps.

Doesnt Superlab have these features anyway

To date I have had no connectivity problems with Superlab so the plug and play feature might be nice, but I see no true advantage of it. Also Superlab is able to send digital markers of onset of photos and sounds the exact millisecond they start, as well as when they go off. I see how much easier programming Superlab would be with this device, but if your looking to spend the time programming and less on this device it has no GREAT advantages in my opinion, just ease of use for people who aren’t fans of programming or too tech savy.