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Information system for behavioral experiment control on monkeys


K.N. Dudkin, S.V. Mironov, I.V. Chueva, N.Yu. Kolomenskiy

The presented information system (IS) provides the monkey behavior management and the behavioral data registration. Our ideas about the organization of behavior may be represented as follows. At the heart of the experiment is to develop a differentiating operant conditioning that is determined by the interaction between sensory, cognitive and control processes. This interaction determines the conditioned behavior forming, which includes several behavioral stages. All the processes determining monkey behavior are initiated by the IS during the experiment. Control processes (attention, motivation) are responsible for the separation of the key feature among the presented images. Cognitive processes provide the key feature storage in long-term memory and their retrieval into working memory. In the working memory block the comparison of the sensory input to the cognitive structure is accomplished by cognitive processes. On the basis of this comparison a decision is made. The behavioral experiment management is carried out on the basis of a PC (Pentium-4) and input-output discrete data device DD8 (the firm ‘Elkus’) connected with the computer via an ISA pipeline and with signal sensors in the experimental apparatus through the connector CANON62. Input signals are the experiment control signals coming from the PC to the installation; output ones are the signals coming from the installation, reflecting monkey's behavioral responses.The main program that controls the experiment is written in the environment of Borland C + + Builder 5.0 with the database in the DBF format, and consists of the following main modules: a module for exchanging information with the installation, the input data module, the experiment control module, the results output module. The control commands program ‘SUCCESS’ determines the status changes of external devices, separated by time intervals. Commands determine: the up/down lid movement, the adjusting tone turn on/off, the right or left projector turn on/off, and an information about which key pressing (right or left) would be deemed correct in given ‘SUCCESS’ case. Gellerman tables introducing defines a random sequence of stimuli presentation, and therefore determine the number of presentations in the series. The experiment management is a selection of one among the designed experiments to run as well as registration for the current monkey’s key pressing in response to the presentation of the stimulus during the experiment, and saving all the results (correct answer, incorrect answer, refusal, reaction time) in the corresponding databases. Results of a certain number of series of experiments are stored in a database and can be printed and presented in a graph. Further, the results for all series of the same experiment are exported to the statistical analysis program for the required analysis

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