___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ MATHEMATICAL PROCESSING TASK ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Script Author: Katja Borchert, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Millisecond Software, LLC Date: 10-16-2014 last updated: 02-24-2022 by K. Borchert (email@example.com) for Millisecond Software, LLC Script Copyright © 02-24-2022 Millisecond Software ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ BACKGROUND INFO ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This script implements a Mathematical Processing Task with 3 levels of difficulty similar to the one described by: UNIFIED TRI-SERVICE COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT BATTERY (UTC-PAB) I. DESIGN AND SPECIFICATION OF THE BATTERY. ENGLUND, C.E., REEVES. D.L., SHINGLEDECKER, C.A., THORNE, D.R., WILSON, K.P., & HEGGE. F.W. (1987). REPORT NO. 87-10, NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER, P 0 BOX 85122, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92138 NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND, BETHESDA, MARYLAND (p.18) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ TASK DESCRIPTION ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Participants are asked to categorize the solutions to simple arithmetic problems (e.g. 8 - 3 = ). They are asked to press one button (here: <) when the solution is smaller than 5 and another button when the solution is greater than 5 (here: >). Participants are asked to solve the problems from left to right and respond as quickly and accurately as they can. There are 3 conditions of arithmetic problems that differ in their cognitive demand: A) low demand: one operator B) moderate demand: two operators C) high demand: three operators ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ DURATION ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ the default set-up of the script takes appr. 7 minutes to complete ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ DATA FILE INFORMATION ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The default data stored in the data files are: (1) Raw data file: 'mathematicalprocessingtask_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 session: 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. demand: 1 = runs low demand task 2 = runs moderate demand task 3 = runs high demand task problem: contains the currently presented math problem solution: contains the solution to the currently presented math problem resultcategory: 1 = solution < 5; 2 = solution > 5 response: the participant's response (scancode of response key) 31 = S 34 = G 0 = no response responsecategory: "smaller"; "greater"; "response failure" correct: the correctness of the response (1 = correct; 0 = incorrect) latency: the response latency (in ms) (2) Summary data file: 'mathematicalprocessingtask_raw_summary*.iqdat' (a separate file for each participant) inquisit.version: Inquisit version run computer.platform: the platform the script was run on (win/mac/ios/android) startdate: date script was run starttime: time script was started subjectid: assigned subject id number groupid: assigned group id number sessionid: assigned session id number elapsedtime: time it took to run script (in ms); measured from onset to offset of script completed: 0 = script was not completed (prematurely aborted); 1 = script was completed (all conditions run) demand: 1 = runs low demand task 2 = runs moderate demand task 3 = runs high demand task nr_lowdemandtrainingblocks - nr_highdemandtrainingblocks: sets the number of training blocks for each demand condition Note: Typical training times for the tasks are as follows (recommended by: Englund et al, 1987) Low Demand--7 three-minute blocks; Moderate Demand--lO to 14 three-minute blocks High Demand--10 to 30 three-minute blocks. count_low: counts all low demand trials propcorrect_low: proportion correct low demand trials propspeederror_low: proportion speed errors ('response failure') in low demand trials propaccerror_low: proportion accuracy errors ('incorrect') in low demand trials meanrt_low: mean correct latency (in ms) in low demand trials sd_low: standard deviation of correct latencies in low demand trials (same for moderate and high demand trials) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ EXPERIMENTAL SET-UP ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3 cognitive demand conditions: low, moderate, high. Assignment is done via groupnumber in this script. Each condition runs for (default) 3 min (editable value). A) Low cognitive demand: one operator (+, -); presentation time controlled by editable value (see section Editable Values) - default: 1500ms B) Moderate cognitive demand: two operators (+-, -+, --); presentation time controlled by editable value (see section Editable Values) - default: 3000ms C) High cognitive demand: three operators (+--, -+-, ++-); presentation time controlled by editable value (see section Editable Values) - default: 4000ms Training: By default, participants run through one block of training (3 min) for each demand condition in this script. Number of training sessions can be set under Editable Values. Englund et al (1987) suggest the following: * Low Demand--7 three-minute blocks; * Moderate Demand--lO to 14 three-minute blocks * High Demand--10 to 30 three-minute blocks. Training trials are 15s (default) long and provide feedback (red X) if the response is incorrect. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ STIMULI ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ All problems are randomly generated right before presentation. Several constraints are placed on problem generation (Englund et al, 1987: A-F) A) only digits 1-9 B) 0 < solution < 10 C) solution cannot be 5 D) roughly half the solutions < 5 (because the task is time-limited and not trial limited there may be a slight frequency imbalance. The script is set up in such a way, that after every 10 trials, the frequencies should equal) E) digits can only repeat if they are preceded by the same operator (e.g. 8 - 2 - 2 = ) F) when problems are solved from left to right: intermediate and cumulative solutions must be greater than 0 G) no repeats of immediately preceding problems ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ INSTRUCTIONS ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Instructions are not original to the task. They are provided by Millisecond Software as htm/html pages and simple page elements and can be edited either by changing the provided htm/html files or directly under Editable Instructions. To edit htm/html-files: open the respective documents in simple Text Editors such as TextEdit (Mac) or Notepad (Windows). ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ EDITABLE CODE ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 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: Responsekeys: /responsekey_lower: the response key for problems < 5 (default: "S"); left response key /responsekey_upper: the response key for problems > 5 (default: "G"); right response key Note: the response key for 'problems < 5' will be presented as the left response key on touchscreen devices; thus it is recommended to use a key for 'problems < 5' that appears to the left of the response key for 'problems > 5' on the keyboard as well. /fontsize_problem: fontsize of the targets in screen height percentages (default: 10%) /blockduration: the maximum task duration in ms (default: 180000) /trainingtrialduration: the maximum time allotted for demand trials of any kind during training blocks /lowdemandduration: the maximum time allotted for low demand trials in ms (default: 1500) /moderatedemandduration: the maximum time allotted for moderate demand trials in ms (default: 3000) /highdemandduration: the maximum time allotted for high demand trials in ms (default: 4000) /nr_lowdemandtrainingblocks - /nr_highdemandtrainingblocks: sets the number of training blocks for each demand condition (default: 1) Note: Typical training times for the tasks are as follows (recommended by: Englund et al, 1987) Low Demand--7 three-minute blocks; Moderate Demand--lO to 14 three-minute blocks High Demand--10 to 30 three-minute blocks.