| Reference | Downloads | Github

Using staircase AND loading Stimuli conditions from xlsx

Hi! I’m new to PsychoPy, and have spent hours trying to figure out how to properly set up my experiment:
Trying to replicate a previous study, I aim to have a trial that displays a stimuli of either a word or pseudo word (fake word), and, depending on whether the response was correct or not (Was that a word?) the time with the next word visible would go down (adaptive staircase). I also vary between a light background with dark text and dark background with light text, as well as a masking stimuli sandwiched around the word.
There are 8 colour combinations, and I will have around 400 words of each type to randomly draw from (40-50 reps). See the current document

Now, I can make it work how I want it for the individual requirements:
– Word or pseudo word shows up on the various colour combinations (loopType random)
– Stimuli can change duration depending on response (loopType staircase)

However, I can’t seem to find a good way to merge the two! I have tried to loop them outside each other both ways, but no avail.

I am aware of the interleaved staircase, but I don’t want the staircase to “restart” for each random selection. Currently, for each loop I get a new startVal together with the new word/colours and choosing correct answers will not affect the staircase / stimuli timing. I may be wrong in the way I structure it, but tried to find examples of other similar experiments, and could only find the one in the Demos (which does not load any external stimuli).

Is there any way to load stimuli using a Code component while using the staircase loopType? That could certainly solve the problem, but I have tried snippets found online without any luck (PsychoPy is unable to find the conditions stored in the csv or xlsx)

I had hoped to finish this several days go, as I need to conduct this experiment Monday/Tuesday this coming week. In my desperation, I am willing pay(pal) a little for help that leads to the answer.

Kind regards,

dark_test_forum.psyexp (41.9 KB)
stimuli_colors.xlsx (11.5 KB)

If you want to measure an independent threshold for each of the color settings then you do indeed want an interleaved staircase. It won’t “restart” for each random selection but it will maintain its history independently, which is what is needed. So the thing to debug is why your levels are not changing. Maybe you aren’t correctly detecting correct/incorrect? (If the answer is always thought to be incorrect then you’ll keep the staircase going up)


  • I note that you’ve got a static period inserted (ISI) but you’ve got stimuli changing within that (mask2) which is really not a good idea. Right-click your static period and remove it
  • the fact that you’ve got a static period in the default time period suggests you’re using an old version of PsychoPy and lots of bugs have been fixed in recent years. I’d also suggest you update it to the latest version (3.0.6)