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Hey all--

When I go back to school in the fall, I will be starting my own research in a psycholinguistics lab. I designed the experiment at the end of last semester, and am looking forward to actually carrying it out.

The main thing that subjects will have to do is a lexical decision task, where they are presented with a string of letters, and have to indicate by pressing certain keys whether or not the characters on the screen form a real word. By displaying different types of distractor words for varying amounts of time before the target word we can find out what characteristics of words have facilitative effects on lexical decision (speed up the decision), and which have inhibitory effects (slow down the decision).

I am hoping that I can write the code to conduct the experiment in pure perl. I will need the following functionality:

  • display an entirely blank screen
  • show words at random points on the screen
  • control how long the words stay on the screen
  • take user input as to whether the letters form a word or not
  • measure the time between displaying the target word and the user input
  • keep track of the users input in a database as the experiment progresses

    I'm wondering what sorts of modules you all know about that could potentially be put together to construct the type of experiment I'm talking about. Measuring time is especially important, and needs to be accurate at least down to miliseconds. Is a pure perl solution feasible and practical?

    Thanks in advance for any input,
    --au


    In reply to Experiment Design by aufrank

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