Bpod State Machine r0.8 (beta) is our newest system for precise measurement of small animal behavior. It measures the instant when discrete events happen (a snout enters a port, a tongue breaks a photogate, etc). Bpod can react to these events by rapidly changing aspects of the environment, providing an excellent closed-loop link between behavioral events, stimuli and reinforcement. Bpod is most often used for the 2AFC (two alternative forced choice) behavioral paradigm, but has been adapted to power a diverse range of other behavioral assays (conditioned place preference, go / no-go, self-stimulation, social value measurement, etc).
Bpod can interface with up to 8 behavior ports. Each behavior port contains one infrared photogate, one white LED with software-adjustable intensity, and one solenoid valve for dispensing precisely measured liquid rewards through a drinking tube. Bpod has additional inputs and outputs for triggering, digital communication and synchronization with a linked electrophysiology system. Integration with Psychtoolbox 3 provides high quality audio stimuli with ~8ms latency on a properly configured computer.
Please be advised that Bpod r0.8 beta is a flexible behavior platform, and is not guaranteed to do everything you have in mind out of the box. It has a learning curve, and will require some programming to develop a behavioral protocol. Documentation and information about getting started is available on the Bpod wiki. Individual support is available in the Bpod forums. A central focus of our company is to grow the current community of Bpod users, to optimize the system for ease of use, and to add to its capabilities.
Bpod 0.8 beta features several hardware improvements over Bpod 0.5:
- Modularity: 3 buffered serial ports integrate external Arduino-based modules.
- Memory: new 512KB external fRAM IC stores in-trial event timestamps
- Circuitry: a 4-layer circuit board design provides improved signal quality
- Isolation: BNC output channels (5V TTL) are now isolated. Wire terminal and BNC inputs are optically isolated
- Synchronization: configurable, using any digital output channel