SOME ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNITS FOR OPERANT BEHAVIOR STUDIES: III.

A TIMER AND COUNTER WITH PRINT-OUT' W. N. SCHOENFELD, W. W. CUMMING, A. G. SNAPPER and P. HAAS
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

The present apparatus supplements devices in our laboratory described earlier (Schoenfeld et al., 1960a and 1960b), and serves as a general timing and counting unit with varied applications, among them the measurement of response durations and inter-response times, the counting of response or other events in specified time segments, and the printing out of these data sequentially. In serving as a counter of responses or reinforcements (or other class of events), a period may be set over which a count is taken. At the end of each set counting period the total number of events is printed out by a Hewlett-Packard 560A Digital Recorder. The shortest inter-event time which can be resolved is 10 microseconds. The length of the counting period may be set as low as about 50 ms., with unlimited maximum. As a timer, the apparatus can measure response durations as short as one ms. provided the responses are separated by not less than 25 ms. Inter-response time may be measured either (a) from response onset to onset of the next response, or, (b) from response offset to onset of the next response, the latter being called here "corrected inter-response time" (CIRT in Fig. 2). Both inter-response times may be measured down to a value of 25 ms. with an accuracy of 1.0 ms. Figure 1 is the schematic flow chart for the entire system. When timing is desired, the subject's response is fed to the coding circuit together with a tone pair of either 10 kc.- 1 kc. or 1 kc.-100 cps. generated by a Hewlett-Packard oscillator Model IOOD. The coding circuit gates the given tone pair so as to produce wave trains of the higher frequency of lengths equal to the intervals being measured. The choice of frequency depends on the accuracy desired, the 10 kc. tone permitting measurement to the nearest 0.1 Ims., the one kc. tone to
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CODING CIRCUIT
S
*

COUNTER~ ~ ~

EXERA

TIME

DECODING AND PRINT COMMAND
T TAPE DECKS
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[ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ADDITIONAL | INPUTS

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~~~~~~~~COUNTERS|
PRINTER

FREQUENCY STANDARD

1 ]

Figure 1. Flow chart for the system, including possible additions of external inputs and an external timer. Switch S permits introduction of tape recording, or direct use of the decoder, as desired.
'This apparatus was developed in conjunction with research supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant G-867 1.

331

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-. The power supply for the complete systems of Figures 2 and 3 should provide wellfiltered and regulated B+ at 200 ma. Pulse amplifier E.200v. 200 v. P. 1/2 watt R4 -3 megohms.. -. -.00 mf... 1/2 watt R8 -5.6 -1 megohm.3 -5..3 -. Pulse amplifier Elo -EECO Z-8771.00lmf. is in excess of marginal requirement). 1/2 watt R. -Mercurv-wetted-contact relayd RY2 10 K ohm plate relay RY3 -General purpose relay RC. 200 v. C. 1/2 watt R23 -100 K potentiometer RY.5 megohms. -.2 mf.00l mf. bAn acceptable substitute is a 6AL5 vacuum tube. -. C20 -. 200 v.200v. Santa Ana. 1/2 watt R. 200 v.2 -EECO Z-8327. C. (of which about 30 ma.001 mf.. 1/2 watt R. 200 v.. One-shot E.001 mf. 200 v.6 -. 1/2 watt Ri8 -1 megohm... California.00lmf. Pulse gate E3 -EECO Z-8327.4 -EECO Z-8327. 1/2 watt R20 -270 K ohms.200v. 1/2 watt R22 -22 K ohms. -2P DT toggle switch S6 -2P DT toggle switch S7 . 200 v. -Ne5l neon bulb R.200v. -3P DT toggle switch S2 -3P DT toggle swvitch S3 -2P DT toggle switch S4 2P DT toggle switch S.025mf. B+ -200 v.2 -470 K ohms. C2. SD20 D2 -Sperry diode No.5 -47 K ohms. -. -.. 200 v. Clare Co.200v. C. -. 1/2 watt R9 -33 K ohms. 1/2 watt R -4 10 megohms. dSimilar to HG 1042 made by C. C9 -.1 megohms. 1/2 watt C.00lmf.9 -5 megohms.. or other diode of similar characteristics. Squaring circuit E2 -EECO Z-8327.. . DCa Db -Sperry diode No.200v. 1/2 watt R2 -47 K ohms.200v.. 1/2 watt R. Pulse amplifier E7 -EECO Z-8342. -..05 mf. Phantastron E. -47 K ohms.. -EECO Z-8489.3 -EECO Z-8348. C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 R5 -1. 1/2 watt R6 -470 K ohms.200v. SD20 Ec. 1/2 watt R3 -47 K ohms. -.00lmf.3mf. 1/2 watt R.8 -.5mf. C. Phantastron E6 -EECO Z-8489. Pulse amplifier E9 -EECO Z-8489. 200 v..ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNITS 333 Index for Figure 2 -. Pulse gate E. -75 K ohms.4 -300mmf.. C. C.2 -. C. -Relay I contacts RC2 -Relay 2 contacts RC3 -Relay 3 contacts S. 1/2 watt R.5 -. C. C.7 -1 megohm...25mf.001 mf.. 1/2 watt R7 -100 K ohms.. 1/2 watt Rio -1. Pulse amplifier E3 -EECO Z-8771. C. 200 v.. I -39 K ohms.3 volts. 1/2 watt R2.0 -.001 mf. cAll EECO plug-in circuits are manufactured and sold by the Engineered Electronics Co. mf.200v.6 K ohms. -EECO Z-90001. Pulse gate E4 -EECO Z-8489..200v. 1/2 watt R.IP ST toggle switch Ss -4P DT switch T.. mf.6 K ohms.. -One-half 5963 tube T2 -One-half 5963 tube T3 -One-half 6AL5 diode T4 -One-half 5963 tube T5 -One-half 5963 tube T6 -One-half 6AL5 diode T7 -One-half 6AL5 diode T8 -One-half 12AT7 tube o -Output to Sodeco counter p -Output to tape recorder or decoder aAll tube filaments are used with 6. Flip-flop E8 -EECO Z-8489..7 -. 200 v.037 mf. Pulse gate N.OOlmf.

4) where unusual connections are employed. For example. the latter being under the control of E13.. its onset resulting in the print-out of a special symbol. three subsequent subcircuits are concerned with gating the measures of (a) response duration. Tubes and T2 produce negative pulses. or to the decoder when the other pair is used. for that reason. E3. and. these counters remain blank and a row of zeros is printed. on the mechanical (Sodeco) "error counter. depending on what operation is obtained. (b) inter-response time." the number of responses which occur within 25ms. The gates E2. For special events. by approximately 100 microseconds. the event pulses may be fed directly to the electronic counters.B.2. use of the tape recorder reduces the "dead" print-out time by a factor of eight since the wave trains have a minimum of 25 ms. The second tone of the pair is used to record any special event (such as reinforcement).334 SCHOENFELD. are 25 and E5 El3 The by respective gates pass pulses. signaled by a low frequency wave train. if it is sought to measure inter-response times. Switch S8 (parts A. SNAPPER.. . or 200 ms. the coding circuit totals. S2 must be thrown in the appropriate direction (arrow pointing upward to IR). respectively.C. the two lower frequencies may be used without tape recording and fed directly to the decoding and print command circuit. the switches are in tte position shown in the figure with E. A pulse from E6 puts E. El2.) of the printer. and HAAS the nearest millisecond. As stated. positive gating pulses generated and 24 ms. The reduction is afforded by recording at 15 inches per second and playing back the tape at 17/8 inches per second. El4 Es E. Subject's response is converted at E. the higher frequency wave train of the tone pair being used is fed to the electronic counters. E13) controlling ms.D working together) determines whether tape operation or direct and pass pulses or not. E7. with regard to gate the output of E5 (pin 6) is differentiated at the input of E2 (pin 4). For this. and similarly for E8 positioning E. CUMMING. E. and 198 ms. consider the switching mode for measuring IRT's. As an example of the operation of the coding circuit in Figure 2. E2. while if El3 is firing no pulse passes numbers are shown on EECO units (E. their is them.4 Furthermore. Lacking input to and voltage (as generated by E5.3. or where possible ambiguity exists as to direction of pulse flow (this is also done in Figure 3 below). of a preceding response (and which. The interval between prints is determined by an external timer which triggers the printing circuit. into position to allow gate E. The T. E10 delays the negative pulse from E. the decoding circuit commands print-out of the electronic counter totals and resets these counters to zero.2. and vice versa. between them guaranteed by the coding circuit. rather than measuring inter-response times or response durations. to pass pulses. and SI thrown down (arrow pointing downward to R). only the negative pulse resulting from the differentiation of E5's output Pin will pass E2 if El3 is not fired simultaneously. a position of switches SI-S7 should be assumed. long. Es. frequency pair is used. are not otherwise measured). at response onset and T2 at response offset. When El4 is open. The coding circuit output is switched to the tape recorder when the 10 kc. Figure 2 details the coding circuit of the foregoing flow chart. To ease the reading of each subcircuit. Furthermore. T. E2. the shorter pair of output pulses being used with the tape operation.-l kc. to a squared wave the duration of which is equal to response duration.. (c) inter-response time minus response duration ("corrected" inter-response time). Where 200ms. E3. At the end of each wave train. and similarly for the other switches. E. From the latter. When counting events in a specified time segment. is an expected inter-response time minimum. El2 is closed. thus expanding the time between wave trains to match the print-out cycle (200ms.

closing El4 and opening E. that phantastron Es is triggered only at the end of the high frequency wave train.2. R1o.O switches E7. at the end of the cycle. positive pulse from E5 closes the gates on the two Hewlett-Packard electronic counters and initiates the print cycle. The time constant of the network at the grid of T4 is chosen large enough to allow sufficient time for the printer to complete any cycle going on at the time the low frequency wave train starts. second.O. events are not counted. first. the pulse from pin 7 triggers the phantastron E5.2. that the number of cycles in the wave train produced at E3 is counted by the electronic counters. In this position. The negative pulse generated by T. only one response occurring within E5's operation time will register on the counter.) had occurred during the 25 ms. S3. in turn. and would have blocked E2 (preventing E7 from being switched by the negative-going trailing edge of Es's output).ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNITS 335 the difference that S7 is to be taken as closed. With the arrangement described here. Twentyfive milliseconds later. The output of E. events are again counted until the next subsequent print signal. and T2 are buffer amplifiers. The 25 ms. occur during the operation of E5.3 and generating a 24 ms. Assume. R. by an external timer (or other means) will initiate the print cycle and reset the electronic counters to zero at the end of the cycle. with the exceptions.. If another response (negative pulse from T. switch S1 in the decoding circuit (Fig. that a 10 kc. The two Hewlett-Packard 520AR electronic decade counters have four decades each. would have closed relay 2 (registering a unit on the Sodeco counter connected at o). but is finally blocked at E. During the print cycle. The two counters are used in series (the last decade of one being joined to the first of the other through E6) to produce effectively eight decades.. makes the plate of T4 sufficiently positive to change the state of E2. activation of RY. For use of the circuit as an event counter. and then filtered by the network composed of R8. the counting of all responses within that time. The output of T. the lower frequency is converted at El to a train of square waves of uniform amplitude which are then differentiated by C3 and R7. Should another response. and then is delayed 100 microseconds by E. The change-over pulse from pin 6 of E2 resets the counters to zero. and T6. Figure 3 details the operation of the decoding circuit. The 150 ms. whenever the low frequency tone is present.2. and S5. The same pulse also goes through E3 and then triggers E5. in fact. and the remaining high frequency tone is treated in a manner analogous to that described above for the low frequency tone. S1. tone to output point p. S6. further.. Another response must occur after E5 has finished its cycle before the circuit will recommence the timing train. tone is passing through El4 to p. the positive spike derived from the differentiation is inverted by T5. the negative-going side of E5's output passes through E2. operation of E5. Wave trains of the selected tone pair are fed (from either the tape recorder or directly from the coding circuit) into this circuit through transformer TR. Events to be counted are fed . to switch E7 back to its original state. may be accomplished by inserting an electronic counter at the output of E12. as stated above. is filtered to remove the low frequency tone. it would have passed through E. S2. T. rectified by T3. should more than one be made. at response onset passes through SI. returning the 10 kc. and. 3) is thrown to connect E5 to relay RY. positive pulse from Es blocks E3 and also is differentiated by C.0. if necessary. It is this delay which prevents the pulse from T. and C4. normal operation would be resumed at the occurrence of the next response coming after the completion of the 25 ms. The negative bias on T4. The-output of T2 is filtered to remove the higher frequency tone. driving E. pulse which. operation of E5. The operation of the coding circuit in the other two modes is to be traced in analogous fashion. from passing E12.

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1/2 watt R33 -47 K ohms.200v.001 mf.. C.. 200v. CIO .0 mf.lmf. Squaring circuit E3 -EECO Z-90001. 1/2 watt R2 -100 K ohms.001 mf.0mf. 1/2 watt 5 K ohms. 200 v.00 mf. -SP DT toggle switch T. -. 1/2 watt R4 -47 K ohms... 1/2 watt R..103 mf.005 mf. Squaring circuit E2 -EECO Z-90001.05 mf. 1/2 watt R28 -100 K ohm potentiometer R29 -330 K ohms. 200 v. 1/2 watt -220 K ohms.. 200v.0 megohm. 200v. 200v.. 1/2 watt R ...05 mf. 1/2 watt R.0 megohm..16mf.Omf. C2 . 1/2 watt R34 -47 K ohms. 1/2 watt R8 -1..200v.200v.. 3 ohm input and 10 K ohm output aThe footnotes of Figure 2 index apply equally here to the tube filaments and power supply. 1/2 watt R2..200v.0 megohm.02mf.1. C3 -lmf. 1/2 watt RIO -150 K ohms.001 mf. -One-half 5963 tube T6 -One-half 5963 tube T7 -One-half 6AL5 diode Ta -One-half 5963 tube T9 -One-half 6AL5 diode T10 -One-half 5963 tube T1l -One-half 6AL5 diode T.0 megohm..4 -390 K ohms.001 mf. diodes. . 1/2 watt R. -EECO Z-877 1.4 -.200v. Squaring circuit E4 -EECO Z-90001. 1/2 watt R26 -1. C24 -.5 -. 200v.25mf. C21 -. 1/2watt R...0 megohms. 1/2 watt R35 -47 K ohms. 1/2 watt -24 K ohms. 1/2 watt -Mercury-wetted-contact relaya RC. 1/2 watt R39 -39 K ohms.200v.0015 mf. C12 -. C20 -. 1/2 watt R20 -150 K ohms. 1/2 watt R37 -8 megohm potentiometer R38 -3. C. One-shot RI -100 K ohms.05mf. -150 K ohms. C16 -. 1/2 watt R17 -68 K ohms. C25 -. C17 -.200v. -Relay I contacts S. -300mmf. 1/2 watt R.. -One-half 5963 tube T2 -One-half 5963 tube T3 -One-half 6AL5 diode T4 -One-half 5963 tube T.6 -100K ohms.. 1/2 watt R22 -270 K ohms. C7 -. DCa Da -Sperry diode No. C26 -50 mmf. 1/2 watt R32 -150 K ohms.9 -.ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNITS 337 Index for Figure 3 C.. 200v. 1/2 watt R27 -980 ohms.0 megohm. C. 1/2 watt R3 -200 K ohms. R25 -1. 200v. 1/2 watt R12 -1. 200v. 1/2 watt R31 -200 K ohms.200v..200v.3 -100 K ohms. C13 -.001 mf. 200 v..9 -150 K ohms. 200 v.. 1/2 watt R. 1/2 watt R36 -1. SD20 E. B+ -200v. SD20 D4 -Sperry diode No.8 -2. Phantastron E6 -EECO Z-8348. C6 -'I mf.200v. 200 v. 1/2 watt RI. 1/2 watt RI5 -100K ohms. mf. SD20 D3 -Sperry diode No. and mercurywetted-contact relay. C. 1/2 watt R23 -20 K ohm potentiometer R24 -180 K ohms.2 -One-half 5963 tube TR. C22 -. Squaring circuit E. C4 -17.8 -50 K ohms. SD20 D2 -Sperry diode No. 1/2 watt R40 -47 K ohms. Ca -1. 1/2 watt R41 -47 K ohms.. C23 -.. 1/2 watt R7 -1. 1/2 watt R42 R43 R4 RY -470 K ohms.0 megohm. -100 K ohm potentiometer R6 -68 K ohms.1 megohm.. -Audio transformer. 200v. -EECO Z-90001..005 mf. C. C5 -.Olmf. 200 v. 200 v. EECO units. 1/2 watt R30 -200 K ohms. C -..

one for counting responses while the other simultaneously records reinforcements. anal. (b) Received June 3. REFERENCES Schoenfeld. 107. In the present case. Behav. and HAAS directly into the electronic counter in the form of pulses which must conform to the manufacturer's minimum specifications (for the Hewlett-Packard 520AR. W. SNAPPER. Behav.2 volts). 17-20. exp. et al.. N. N. we have found it convenient to use the two electronic counters separately. exp.. 3..3. W. A random ratio generator.108. anal.338 SCHOENFELD. J. A response and reinforcement contingency translator. pulses must be at least 0. Some electronic control units for operant behavior studies: I. et al. 1960. 1960. J. CUMMING. (a) Schoenfeld. 1960 .. Some electronic control units for operant behavior studies: II.