importing stimulus list

I have a tab delimited text file that has the file names of my stimulus pictures and a code for stimulus condition. How would I go about importing this into SuperLab? Thanks in advance for any help.

Unfortunately, SuperLab does not currently offer this capability. The stimuli and corresponding code values will need to be entered by hand into the stimulus list editor.

That’s a big disappointment. This seems like a relatively easy capability to include, and one that most other stimulus presentation packages have, both free and commercial. An importation feature has the potential to be a huge time-saver. Perhaps you should think about including this capability in an upcoming update.


I have entered in all of the stimuli to the stimulus list editor manually, but I am finding it very difficult to put them in the order I need them. When I add several stimuli at once they no longer appear in any observable order. In order for me to reorder them, do I have to use the up and down arrows to move items to their appropriate place in the list or is there another way? I find it extremely time consuming and tedious to click the arrows hundreds of times to reorder my stimulus lists.

Similar frustrations

The inability to import stimuli picture lists in a text format is probably the biggest shortcoming of Superlab. I taught a class this fall that required students to program experiments in Superlab, and this feature limitation made the program very frustrating and unpopular among students. For my own use, I have complicated designs that involve counterbalanced lists and simultaneous presentation of multiple stimuli, making programming in Superlab unnecessarily laborious.

Even when items are imported in large numbers by selecting all, they do not appear in an alphabetical order as they do in the stimulus folder, so everything has to be ordered by using the up and down arrows, which is very time consuming (and confusing when you have a long list of stimuli) or they must be entered one at a time.

I really do hope that enabling a text import for picture files is your top priority - any word on when such a change might be available?

Hi Cindy,

> I really do hope that enabling a text import for picture files is your top priority

It has become now. :slight_smile:

> any word on when such a change might be available?

I cannot provide a time frame at this point.


A work-around ?

I’ve been wrestling with a somewhat similar situation, with text stimuli, though, not pictures. I think I’ve come across a workaround that may also work with picture lists.

SuperLab is pretty good at walking through multiple stimulus lists in tandom, so it’s easy to set up a tab-/space-/whatever-delimited file with the stimuli grouped into one trial per line, and then write a simple script to strip out column 1 into one list, column 2 in other, and so on. The hard part (at least for our experiments) is that there is no way to have a corresponding list of event/trial codes that can also be read in and walked through in tandom with the stimuli.

But here’s a workaround: create a file as stated above, but group all of the stimulus code information to the right of the the actual stimuli (text strings or filenames). Then the script that strips columns into lists will make one additional list containing all of the code information for all of the stimuli in the trial. This is read into SuperLab as a stimulus list just like the actual stimuli. Or, you could simply read in the whole line, whatever.

Create an ITI event where the code information pseudo stimulus list is displayed as text stimuli, but select the font color to be the same as the background color. That is, it will be displayed invisibly during the ITI. Make sure that you check “Record and save response” (but don’t wait for a response, obviously, just time out).

Now you will have all of the normal information in your logfile about the events, but at the end of each trial, you will also have an entry for the ITI containing all of the codes for the events in the trial. Obviously, before the data can be analyzed, a script of some sort will need to extract this information, along with RTs, responses, and so on, from the log file.

It’s a kludge, but it appears to work, and it is letting us move forward in setting up a number of complex counterbalanced experiments that have been “on hold” for a while.

Greg Shenaut

Has there been an update to allow importing of stimulus lists? We have a number of lists from Superlab 1.75, and it would be great if we could just import them into 4.0.3c. If not, is there an estimate of when this feature may become available? Thanks.


This feature is not yet available in SuperLab 4. After blundering with SuperLab 3/4 release estimates, we’ve learned not to give any estimate.