Interested in MATLAB? Fall Elective Opportunity–PSY-P 457

P457: Implementing Computer-Controlled Behavioral Experiments in Psychological Science

Fall Semester, 2019

Mondays & Wednesdays 12:45 – 2:00, Room 286

Dr. Jason M. Gold, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Are you an undergraduate working in a lab that runs computer-based experiments?   Do you see yourself going on to pursue an academic career in psychological science? If so, having the ability to control a computer through programming is an invaluable skill, as it has become a critical part of being able to carry out most aspects of behavioral experiments, including presenting stimuli, collecting data from subjects, implementing models, running simulations and analyzing data.

During the Fall semester of 2019, I will be teaching a P457 Topics Course on how to program behavioral experiments using MATLAB. MATLAB is a computer programming environment that is commonly used in all areas of science, including psychological science. In this course, you will get hands-on experience learning the basic skills of how to use MATLAB, with a focus on how to carry out your own experiments. The core skills you learn during this course will extend to virtually any other programming language that you may wish to pick up in the future.

Enrollment is limited to 20 students. Previous programming experience is not required — in fact, you will probably get more out of the course if you have no prior programming experience. The only prerequisite is K300 (for basic knowledge of simple statistics) or by my permission.

P457: Implementing Computer-Controlled Behavioral Experiments in Psychological Science

Course Description:

The goal of this course is for students to learn to use MATLAB to program computer-controlled behavioral experiments in psychological science. It is intended for advanced undergraduate students with little or no prior experience in MATLAB programming. The course is not intended to provide an exhaustive presentation of all elements of MATLAB.  However, it is intended to provide a broad and in-depth introductory foundation. By the time the course is completed, this foundation should be sufficient to allow students to implement in MATLAB their own behavioral experiments from beginning to end. This implementation includes the nature and timing of stimulus presentations, response and data collection, organization of data files, statistical analysis of data and the development of graphical figures.

Prerequisites: K300 or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.