Home > Human Factors Methodology > Implementation of Rapid Serial Presentation Tasks: RSVP, RSAP and a tactile task RSTP

Implementation of Rapid Serial Presentation Tasks: RSVP, RSAP and a tactile task RSTP

Recently I needed three highly attention capturing tasks for a research project. All are similar, detection tasks. This means a stream of signals is presented to the participant and has to react to a defined subset of signals by either tapping on the screen of a tablet or clicking the mouse (either one you decide to use for presentation of the tasks). The tasks capture attention each in another sensory modality: audio, visual and tactile. I implemented the tasks OS independent in JavaScript, HTML, and the NodeJs framework. You find the tasks for download on Github: https://github.com/cognitiveresources/Detection-Tasks

The visual and the auditory task present a series of rapidly changing numbers and letters. In literature those tasks are called Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) and Rapid Serial Auditory Presentation (RSAP) tasks. Each letter or number appears for a predefined timeframe. After exceeding this timeframe, it disappears and a blank screen is presented for a predefined timeframe. Thereafter, the next letter or number appears. Whenever a number is shown (target) the participant should tap on the screen or click the mouse (dependent on the device you use to present the tasks). The tactile task was designed with a similar characteristic. The JavaScript foresees to communicate with two motors controlled by an Arduino for this task. The participant holds one motor in the left and one in the right hand. During the course of the task the activity of the motors will change: only the left vibrates, only the right vibrates, both vibrate or none vibrates. Whenever both motors vibrate (target) the participant should tap on the screen or click the mouse.

To start the visual or the auditory task, open the desired html file of the task. You will see a website in which you can specify the setting for the task: duration of the task, duration of a cue (letter / digit) is presented, duration of a blank screen, number of targets (numbers) and number of letters between the targets. When you click start, the next page opens showing a screen with an underscore. Now you can get the participant ready. When you press the start button the task will start after 5 seconds.

For the tactile task you need to set up the hardware (Arduino and two vibrating motors (e.g. Lilypad)) and you need to install the NodeJs framework and the JohnnyFive framework for this task. In order to prepare the Arduino to communicate with the JavaScript server you might need to install StandardFirmata on the Arduino. To start the tactile task you need to start the JavaScript file first in the command line window: “node PilotTTask.js”. This will start the JavaScript server. Then, open your browser and type in the URL “localhost”. You should now see a website to define the settings for the tactile task similar to the RSVP and RSAP task.

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