Spatial Memory Task

I’m building a spatial location memory experiment, and I’m hoping to use stimulus lists with codes in order to determine the correct response.

basically I have uploaded memory arrays varying in size, and they will be randomly presented. Then after a delay, I am to present a test stimulus (a probe stimulus), and participant are to indicate if that location has been occupied. I could just put in each memory array and test stimulus as a separate event, but this takes a very long time to load.

Is there a way to use codes to keep track of the locations occupied in the memory array, and then link this to the test stimulus, so that only when they “match”, this will be coded as a correct response. I also need half of the test/probe stimuli to be “occupied” (by a stimulus in the previous memory array), and have to be “non-occupied”.

Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,


Thank you for the information. Is there anyway you can describe more in detail what you want the experiment to do? I am not very familiar with this experiment type. Or, if you have your experiment, posting it would be helpful. If so, please post as an Experiment Package. This is found under the file menu within SuperLab. Also, I want to verify the version of SuperLab you are using, is it SuperLab 4.x?

Re: experiment details

Basically I have a cue preceding a memory array (2, 4, or 6 shapes presented on the screen). Then after a delay a probe item is presented (a square occupying one of the screen locations). Participants have to indicate whether or not a shape was previously presented in that location (on a trial by trial basis).

To save loading time I’d prefer to use stimulus lists (instead of loading each individual memory array and probe item as a separate event. however in order to do this, I will need to use codes in order to keep track of what was presented, and only count a probe event as “correct”, if the probe item occupied the same space as an item in the memory array.

One of the problems I’m running into is that I have two stimulus lists I’m using in one trial (I need to access the memory array list and the probe item list). Therefore, the correct response is really based on both.

Does this make sense? I don’t have the experiment build yet, as I’m hoping to just be able to upload my jpgs of the memory arrays and probe items as entire folders in the stimulus lists, and then have them randomly presented across trials.

Great, thank you for the information. I do need to confirm what version of SuperLab you are using, SuperLab 4.5 or SuperLab 5?

Re: version

Its superlab 4.5

Attached is a sample experiment that uses stimulus lists and two trial variables.

In SuperLab 4.5, there is not a way to automatically detect whether the random probe landed on a spot where a shape had been. Therefore, in SuperLab 4.5, the experimenter would need to process the output in the datafile after the experiment is done. Within the data file you would look in the columns for “shapes locations (Trial Variable)” and “probe position (Trial Variable)” to detect whether the probe for any given trial was on an occupied or an empty array spot during that trial.

In this demo experiment using 4.5, every trial will use multiple copies of the same shape (meaning 3 to 8 squares, or 3 to 8 circles, but never a mix of 2 squares and 2 circles).

In the newest version, SuperLab 5, it is possible to detect whether the probe matched an occupied spot, and it is also possible with just one click to tell SuperLab to mix together the shapes in each trial, so that you might get squares, circles, triangles together in one trial. To mix together the shapes in 4.5, you will need to create 8 Stimulus Lists and attach one list to each of the 8 shape events. (30.7 KB)

Probe location matching stimulus location

In Superlab 5 (I’m trying out the demo), how would I “tag” a probe item so that it was marked as “correct” if it appeared in the location of a item presented previously?

Do you need to do this while the experiment is running, for example provide feedback? Or, can this be done after it’s finished running?

Re: experiment

I need it to tag a location during stimulus presentation, then when a probe is presented, if it occupies the same position as that “tag”, it will require a “yes” response, and be counted as correct.

Thank you for contacting us directly by email. I am happy we were able to answer your questions.

I am also interested in how to do this in Superlab 5. Could you post the answer?


Hi MKofler,

Here is the SL5 demo experiment you requested.

Each trial shows a pair of arrows at two random locations. The two arrows appear simultaneously. Subsequently, a probe (gray box) is shown either at a location that matches one of the arrows, or at a non-matching location.

The participant needs to indicate whether the probe was non-matching or matching.

SuperLab can dynamically compute whether the response is correct. Trial-by-trial feedback is shown to demonstrate this.

Key features being demonstrated:

  • Manual trial levels
  • Parameters
  • Rules (in the Trial Editor)

When browsing the trials using SuperLab’s Trial Editor, notice that we have added helpful notes in the yellow “sticky note” box on each trial.

Many variations of this experiment are possible, including:

  • Make the arrows disappear before the probe shows up.
  • Increase the probability of a matching probe.
  • Use more than six different arrows. (16.3 KB)