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Psychopy with MEG experiments (advice needed!)

Hi there,

I am intending to embark on a MEG experiment in the near future and the MEG support and expertise in my area is at its infancy. I was wondering if anyone around here has done that before? A couple of questions in mind here:

  1. It doesn’t seem like it and I am not aware that there is one, but is there actually a dedicated tool in Psychopy that would be useful for MEG experiments (synonymous to iohub for eyetracking)?

  2. How does it typically work? The stimuli presentation is independent of the MEG recording system I suppose, and both scripts have to be launched together at the same time on different computers?

  3. How do you actually send triggers from the Psychopy presentation PC onto the MEG recording PC?

  4. Are there online resources out there otherwise, if there is a better recommended software for this?

  5. What python MEG analysis software out there that is recommended, and hopefully, is there a guide with sample dataset that I can play around with?

Thank you so much in advance!

For questions 1–3, this all depends on your particular MEG system. You need to start by consulting its technical manuals. Look for its communication protocols in particular.

Things to look for:

  • how does the MEG expect to be communicated with? e.g. does it have direct connections via a serial or parallel cable, or does it expect to receive and transmit communications over a network protocol?
  • which direction does the initiation come from? e.g. typically an MRI experiment, the session begins with the the “start” button on the MRI console. That results in a trigger message being sent to the stimulus presentation PC. i.e. PsychoPy waits for that trigger to begin its task and hence be synchronised with the scanner. In an eye tracking experiment, however, often the opposite might happen: PsychoPy sends signals to the tracker to tell it when to start and stop recording.

You need to tell us what your MEG system expects and then we can give you advice from there.

For question 4, PsychoPy will be as good as any other software for controlling/responding to the MEG. You will likely have to solve exactly the same communication problem, no matter what stimulus presentation software you use.

I can’t assist with question 5, sorry.

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I have a very limited experience with MEG, but people usually use MNE python for MEG analysis. The MNE site should also provide some sample dataset to play with.

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