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A Computer Compatible Multi-Purpose Event Recorder

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We describe a multi-mode event recorder for registering behavioral events directly on a punched paper tape. The paper tape produced can be read by any computer equipped with a paper tape reader. For paper tape with an 8-bit code, 256 different events can be registered. The device itself can be operated in any one of four modes. In the first mode, pressing a key on the keyboard results in a unique code (hole combination) being punched on the paper tape. In the second mode of operation, a sequentially increasing number ("time") is punched automatically at preset intervals. In addition, other codes may be entered via the keyboard. A time punch may thus be used to signal that an observation should be entered from the keyboard. In the third mode, the machine punches, at regular intervals, the code of the key currently depressed. In mode 4, external events are counted for a given time interval and the sum punched onto the tape at the end of the interval. With each punch, the sum is reset to zero. The paper tapes produced are read directly and the data processed according to the program. This results in a great reduction in the time necessary to process data. The system is compared with other devices which use magnetic tape as an intermediate storage device. The main advantage of this system is the time saved in processing data.

Affiliations: 1: (Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie, Seewiesen and Erling-Andechs, Western Germany


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