The Interactive feature associated with the List object within E-Prime allows the user to set the levels within a List object that will execute when the experiment is run. The Interactive List feature may be used for debugging purposes (e.g., run only a subset of trials), as well as for guided data collection (e.g., studies involving MRI). A List object may be set as Interactive through the Order property on the Selection tab within the List object Property Pages.
When setting a List object to Interactive order, the No Repeat After and Order By fields are disabled, and the Interactive Order fields become enabled.
Description No Repeat After
n/a in Interactive mode Order By
n/a in Interactive mode Interactive Dialog Display Name
(blank), any available Display Device (e.g., Display, Display2)
Determines the Display Device on which the configuration dialog/interactive prompt is displayed. If not specified, the first open Display available in device manager is used. Cover Visual
Any visual stimulus object available in the experiment
Specifies the background slide that appears over the experiment while the interactive prompt is being displayed. If not specified, Cover Visual is ignored.
The Structure tab within the Experiment Explorer window indicates that a List object is interactive by changing the normal black and white coloring of the icon to green and white. In addition, the Summary at the top of the List object (when opened in the Workspace) indicates "The List is set up for Interactive Order," and that the number of samples will be determined by selection within the interactive dialog when the experiment is run.
When a List object is set as Interactive, E-Studio settings for Reset and Exit are overridden, and a graphical representation of the List contents is displayed at runtime to allow the user to determine which levels are to be executed, and the order in which they will occur. When a List object is reset to be non-Interactive, the E-Studio Reset and Exit settings are restored.
At runtime, the graphical interface/interactive dialog occurs at the point in experiment execution in which the Interactive List occurs. For example, if the experiment structure includes Instructions, the BlockList, and then an Interactive TrialList, the experiment will display the Instructions and execute the BlockList (i.e., select an exemplar from the BlockList) prior to displaying the interactive dialog permitting configuration of the TrialList exemplars.
The top portion of the dialog reflects the contents of the List object itself, indicating the available exemplars within the List object (i.e., levels), and their corresponding weights. For example, in the BasicRT experiment file, the TrialList includes two levels, each having a Weight value of "2" (i.e., each exemplar will be sampled twice).
The bottom portion of the dialog permits the configuration of a queue of one or more specific levels to be executed in a particular order. In addition, after execution of at least one level from the list of available exemplars, the bottom portion of the dialog provides information concerning the history of exemplars that have already been selected/run.
The toolbar appearing in the center of the dialog provides the ability to configure a custom queue for execution (i.e., buttons on the left of the bar), or to run a specific set of exemplars (i.e., Run Next options on the right).
The toolbar appearing at the bottom of the dialog provides a summary of the custom queue, if one has been configured (i.e., number of samples), the ability to select options for running for a variable number of samples, cycles, or seconds, and a setting for action to be taken after the specified queue has been run (e.g., Return to the Interactive List, or Terminate). In addition, the Run button on the right side of the bottom toolbar permits the complete execution of a configured queue of exemplars.
The Abort button on the bottom right of the dialog terminates the Interactive List functionality.
Running and Selection
Selection and running of individual exemplars may be performed using one of two methods; 1) direct selection from the list of available exemplars, or 2) a user-configured queue created by selection of individual exemplars from the list of available exemplars. The former allows the running of one or more trials before returning to the Interactive List dialog according to the specific Run command invoked (e.g., single/multiple items, sequential/random order, etc.). The latter allows the complete run-through of a configured sequence of one or more exemplars as defined by the user.
The Run Next button on the right side of the center toolbar will select and execute exemplars from the available exemplars at the top of the display. The selection of specific exemplars is determined by the Run command that is selected.
|Selects/runs the next available exemplar
|Run Next (Random)
|Randomly selects/runs an available exemplar
|Run Remaining (Sequential)
|Selects/runs all remaining exemplars in fixed order
|Run Remaining (Shuffled)
|Selects all remaining exemplars, and runs in random order
|Run Selected (Sequential)
|Sequentially samples exemplars that are selected
|Run Selected (Shuffled)
|Randomly samples exemplars that are selected
As exemplars are selected, the corresponding Weight value is adjusted to indicate the number of remaining instances for the selected level. For example, if the first exemplar in the available list has a Weight of "2," and Run next is used to select that level, the Weight value is then adjusted to "1" within the dialog. Because a primary use of the Interactive List is to debug an experiment, it is possible to continue to sample from the list of available exemplars even after the original number of available instances has been exceeded. That is, if the user chooses to continue to run instances of a level, the Weight value will reflect that additional instances have been run by indicating a negative number.
The action that occurs following a Run Next command is determined by the "then" field in the bottom toolbar:
Selects/runs the next available exemplar and returns to the Interactive List dialog Terminate
Selects/runs the next available exemplar, completes the procedure, then terminates run of the List object
For example, if the field is set to Terminate and the Run Next command is invoked, the first available exemplar will be selected and executed, then the List object will be terminated. This functionality is useful, for example, for debugging single trials, or visualizing how a specific display will be represented at runtime.
If a queue of exemplars is configured by the user (see Current Queue section below), the Run button at the bottom of the display is enabled. This button allows the entire queue to be run prior to taking the action specified at the bottom of the dialog (i.e., Return or Terminate).
To specify a queue of specific exemplars to run, select an exemplar in the top portion of the dialog and use the Add button on the toolbar located in the center of the display to add a single instance of the exemplar to the current configuration, or use the Add Remaining Weight option within the Add button dropdown to insert all remaining instances of an exemplar. Similarly, to remove items from the queue, use the Remove or Remove All buttons.
When adding instances of exemplars, the Current label within the bottom portion of the display will indicate the queue of exemplars that will be run when a Run command is given, and the Weight column in the top portion of the display will reflect remaining exemplars available for selection.
If more instances of a specific exemplar are added than exist in the available List, the Weight column will indicate a negative value to reflect the true number of instances selected.
Within the Current queue, items may be rearranged, duplicated, or removed from the queue by right-clicking to display a context menu and selecting the appropriate command. In addition, the "Start Here" option permits the experiment to begin running from a specific location within the queue. When the "Start Here" option is used, all levels within the current queue prior to the starting point appear in italics to indicate that they are disabled (i.e., will not be run). Running begins at the specified start point and continues in fixed order.
Modification of the actual contents of the levels is not possible in Interactive mode and must be performed within the actual List object in E-Studio.
An Interactive List dialog may be exited using one of two methods; Abort, or Terminate. The Abort button on the lower right side of the dialog immediately terminates the List object (i.e., clears the queue, no further exemplars/trials are run). If the Interactive List being aborted is a Nested list object, the parent list object is also aborted. The Terminate option automatically terminates the List object and proceeds with the next executable object in the experiment upon completion of the selected run option (e.g., Run Next, Run of a user-configured queue, etc.).
If the selected Run settings return to the Interactive List before terminating the List object, a history of exemplars that has been selected and run is provided under the History heading. By default, the history of already selected and run exemplars is collapsed under the History header. Expand or collapse the list of exemplars using the arrow on the right side of the History header.
The History provides a summary of the selected exemplars, the List from which they were selected, and the Procedure with which they were presented. The History also indicates the order in which the exemplars were presented. The History does not provide information pertaining to any response collected or any dependent measures associated with a response (i.e., accuracy, reaction time).
Nested ListsIf an Interactive List object contains one or more Nested List objects that are also set to Interactive order, an additional Interactive dialog appears (one for each Nested List set as Interactive) allowing the selection of the level within the Nested List object. When aborting Interactive mode at the Nested List level, the parent List object is automatically terminated as well.