Operanter is free software for controlling operant conditioning protocols. Although developed at QMUL for avian Go/No-Go conditioning with the Raspberry Pi, it was designed to be flexible and easy to modify into 2 alternative forced choice or preference experiments.

Operanter is written in Java, and outputs a CSV log of all activity.

A single auditory operant setup with a dedicated computer, touchscreen display and necessary hardware can cost as little as £250.

What does it do?

  • Controls automated operant conditioning protocols. To date, Operanter has been tested with and Go/No-Go and 2AFC paradigms, but schemes for operant preference testing, ABX, 2AFC and oddball paradigms are provided. Alternative protocols and shaping schemes are simple to implement with XML.

  • By combining the operant setup with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system it is possible to monitor and train each individual in a group with its own set of stimuli and training parameters.

  • Automatically backs up log file. The user can set the backup time and Operanter will save the day’s log to a folder. Linux scripts are provided in this Wiki that force the Raspberry Pi to email or upload to Dropbox the day’s log. Logs can also be saved manually whenever necessary.

  • Provides basic progress data. The Statistics page provides basic stats about progress for each individual (i.e. Number of Rewarded stimuli, number of Punished stimuli) to help experimenters and animal caretakers assess the progress without having to analyse the log.