Return to the Attentional Cueing Procedure page
Author: Katja Borchert, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Millisecond Software, LLC
last updated: 03-13-2020 by K. Borchert (email@example.com) for Millisecond Software, LLC
Script Copyright © 03-13-2020 Millisecond Software
This script implements the Attentional Cueing Procedure; a conditional learning paradigm to study the effects
of threat stimuli on capturing and holding attention.
The implemented procedure is based on:
Koster,E.H.W, Crombez,G., Van Damme, S., Verschuere, B. & De Houwer, J. (2004). Does Imminent Threat Capture
and Hold Attention? Emotion, 4, 312–317.
Participants are asked to press a left or right key if they detect a small black square (=target) to the left or
the right of a fixation cross. Cue stimuli (rectangles in two different colors) precede the presentation of the target
and predict in the majority of trials the location of the target. After a baseline in which the cues are
not paired with an aversive/neutral tone, the same task is presented in an acquisition stage in which
the cues predict the occurence of an aversive/neutral tone and take on the role of a CS+ (paired with aversive sound = UCS)
or CS- (paired with neutral sound). The color of the CS+ is counterbalanced across participants.
After the acquisition stage participants rate to what extent
a) the CS+ and CS- predicted the UCS,
b) the UCS was perceived as aversive, and
c) the UCS was feared.
the default set-up of the script takes appr. 10 minutes to complete
DATA FILE INFORMATION
The default data stored in the data files are:
(1) Raw data file: 'attentionalcueing_raw*.iqdat' (a separate file for each participant)
build: The specific Inquisit version used (the 'build') that was run
computer.platform: the platform the script was run on (win/mac/ios/android)
date, time, date and time script was run
subject, group, with the current subject/groupnumber
script.sessionid: with the current session id
blockcode, blocknum: the name and number of the current block (built-in Inquisit variable)
trialcode, trialnum: the name and number of the currently recorded trial (built-in Inquisit variable)
Note: trialnum is a built-in Inquisit variable; it counts all trials run; even those
that do not store data to the data file such as feedback trials. Thus, trialnum
may not reflect the number of main trials run per block.
condition: 1 = practice;
2 = baseline;
3 = prepare acquisition;
4 = acquisition_final stage
sequence_index: stores the listnumber of the chosen sequence
nexttrial: stores which trial to present for baseline/acquisition
reinforcement: 1 = reinforced trial;
0 = not reinforced
response: the participant's response (30 = A (left); 38 = L (right))
correct: the correctness of the response (1 = correct; 0 = error)
latency: the response latency (in ms)
(2) Summary data file: 'attentionalcueing_summary*.iqdat' (a separate file for each participant)
computer.platform: the platform the script was run on (win/mac/ios/android)
script.startdate: date script was run
script.starttime: time script was started
script.subjectid: assigned subject id number
script.groupid: assigned group id number
script.sessionid: assigned session id number
script.elapsedtime: time it took to run script (in ms); measured from onset to offset of script
script.completed: 0 = script was not completed (prematurely aborted);
1 = script was completed (all conditions run)
b_meanrt_cs1invalid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in invalid CS1 baseline trials
b_meanrt_cs1valid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in valid CS1 baseline trials
b_meanrt_cs2invalid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in invalid CS2 baseline trials
b_meanrt_cs2valid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in valid CS2 baseline trials
a_meanrt_cs1invalid,: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in invalid CS1 Acquisition trials
a_meanrt_cs1valid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in valid CS1 Acquisition trials
a_meanrt_cs2invalid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in invalid CS2 Acquisition trials
a_meanrt_cs2valid: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in valid CS2 Acquisition trials
b_cs1invalid_percenterr: percent error responses in invalid CS1 baseline trials
b_cs1valid_percenterr: percent error responses in valid CS1 baseline trials
b_cs2invalid_percenterr: percent error responses in invalid CS2 baseline trials
b_cs2valid_percenterr: percent error responses in valid CS2 baseline trials
a_cs1invalid_percenterr: percent error responses in invalid CS1 Acquisition trials
a_cs1valid_percenterr: percent error responses in valid CS1 Acquisition trials
a_cs2invalid_percenterr: percent error responses in invalid CS2 Acquisition trials
a_cs2valid_percenterr: percent error responses in valid CS2 Acquisition trials
b_catch_percenterr: percent error responses in baseline catch trials
a_catch_percenterr: percent error responses in Acquisition catch trials
b_meanrt_catch: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in baseline catch trials
a_meanrt_catch: mean latency (in ms) of correct responses in Acquisition catch trials
cs1_effectivenessrating: stores the rating of (0-10) of the effectiveness of CS+ to predict UCS
cs2_effectivenessrating: stores the rating of (0-10) of the effectiveness of CS- to predict UCS
ucs_aversive: stores the rating (0-10) of the aversiveness of the UCS
ucs_fear: stores the rating (0-10) of the perceived fear of UCS
8 experimental conditions: 2 validity of cue location (target in same/target in different location) x 2 locations (left, right) x 2 types of cues (CS+, CS-); tested within
1. Practice Block: 10 trials, randomly chosen from amongst the 8 experimental conditions, no sounds
2. Baseline: 54 trials (24 CS+, 24 CS-, 3 catch trials, 3 digit trials), no sounds
=> 75% valid, 25% invalid trials (18 valid, 6 invalid trials for each CS), Koster et al (2004)
- 8 different experimental trials
*fixation cross (500ms) -> cue (200ms)->about 14ms after offset of cue: targetpresentation (until response)
(if paired with sound: 200ms after responding => sound is played for 200ms)
- catch trials: cue presentation is not followed by a target and does not require a response (any positive
response is scored as incorrect); if no response occurs trial times out after a set timeperiod (editable parameter)
Koster et al (2004) did not report the trialduration of the catch trial.
- digit trials: instead of a fixation cross, a digit is presented for 200ms; participants are asked to
say the digit out loud (by default: responses are NOT recorded); trial times out after a set timeperiod (editable parameter)
a) presentation of 2 randomly chosen CS1 trials in which the cue is followed by UCS
b) 108 trials (48 CS+, 48 CS-, 6 catch trials, 6 digit trials)
=> 75% valid, 25% invalid trials (36 valid, 12 invalid for each CS)
=> 75% of CS are followed by sound (e.g. 27 valid trials are followed by sound for each CS; 9 invalid trials are followed by sound for each CS)
4. Manipulation check (rating of: effectiveness of CS+; perceived aversiveness of UCS; perceived fear of UCS)
NOTE ON TRIAL ORDER:
Koster et al (2004) reported to have presented the experimental trials in a fixed random order
that was subject to the following constraints
- no more than 3 consecutive trials with cues of the same type
- no more than 3 consecutive trials in which the target location was the same
This script offers a pool of 20 random trial order sequences (for baseline/acquisition) that follow those
constraints. By default, this script randomly selects one of the sequences for each participant.
To use the same sequence for all participants, go to section LISTS and follow instructions.
!Note: catch trials in this script randomly choose either color, so there is the possibility
that catch trials can interfere with the "no more than 3 repeats of the same colored cue".
Koster et al (2004) report specific cm dimensions of stimuli, such as distances of stimuli
to the fixation cross (9.2cm), sizes of display rectangles (6.5 x 4.8cm)* and target square (1.1cm) for
a 43cm monitor.
To fine tune those dimensions for your screen, please go to EDITABLE PARAMETERS and change
the corresponding values. The sizes used in this script are proportional to the screen size.
*the height/width of the rectangles reported in Koster et al (2004) may be swapped as the reported sizes
(='landscape' rectangles) contradict the layout of the display rectangles displayed in Figure 1 (='portrait' format).
This script uses a larger height than width ('portrait format') corresponding to the display in Figure 1.
the sounds used by this script are NOT original. For originals, please, contact Koster et al.
UCS: generated with Audacity, whitenoise, 200ms, amplitude 0.8
neutral: generated with Audacity, tone, 200ms, 1000Hz, amplitude 0.05
The instructions used in this script are not originals. For originals, please, contact Koster et al.
Please fine-tune under EDITABLE CODE -> Editable Instructions
check below for (relatively) easily editable parameters, stimuli, instructions etc.
Keep in mind that you can use this script as a template and therefore always "mess" with the entire code
to further customize your experiment.
The parameters you can change are:
/fixationcross_height: sets the height of the fixation cross in canvas height % (default: 10%)
/digit_height: sets the height of the digits for the digit trials in canvas height % (default: 3%)
Note: fine-tune the display rectangles/targets for your monitor
/rectangle_height: sets the height of the display rectangle in canvas height % (default: 30%)
/rectangle_width: sets the width of the display rectangle in canvas height % (default: 15%)
/targetsize: sets the target size in canvas height % (default: 5%)
Coordinates of displays/targets: Note: Fine tune coordinates for your monitor
/leftrectangle_x: x-coordinate of the left display rectangle (default: 20%)
/rightrectangle_x: x-coordinate of the right display rectangle (default: 80%)
/CS_color1: sets the two colors (default: magenta, green)
/sounddelay: delay between response and playing of sounds in ms (default: 200ms)
/catchduration: duration of the catch trial in ms (default: 1500ms)
/digitduration: duration of the digit trial in ms (default: 1500ms)
/responsekey_left the left response key (default: 'A')
/responsekey_right: the right response key (default: 'L')