Remote Control Server 2 (RCS) supported in PsychoPy
by Dr. Alex Kreilinger
Technical Product Manager (Brain Products)
In a previous newsletter article, we demonstrated how to interface our Remote Control Server 2 (RCS) from three different stimulus presentation software tools, such as E-Prime® from Psychology Software Tools, Presentation® from Neurobehavioral Systems, Inc., and Experiment Builder from SR Research Ltd. Now, it is time to add another example to the range of options: PsychoPy.
PsychoPy and RCS
PsychoPy is an open source stimulus presentation software, which is based on Python. Make sure to install the latest version (at least 2022.x) of PsychoPy from this website. We usually recommend installing the stand-alone version, as it will not interfere with other Python installations, but you can also choose between other options to download PsychoPy and use the provided code for interfacing with RCS.
RCS allows users to automatize certain steps in the experiment setup, such as making sure to load the correct workspace and providing names for recording data with Brain Products amplifiers in BrainVision Recorder. This is not only more convenient but can also be helpful in reducing potential mistakes if these steps are to be executed manually instead.
Curious to see examples?
A script with some examples including comments is provided here. It demonstrates, sequentially, how to initialize the connection to RCS, how to load workspaces and connect to the amplifier, as well as how to start different modes, such as monitoring, impedance checking, or recording. You can run this file either directly from PsychoPy Coder, but also step-by-step from your development environment of choice, for example Spyder. For further information, please also take a look at the official documentation. Instead of the pre-configured commands, you can always send raw messages directly, for example
rcs.sendRaw(‘M‘) instead of rcs.mode = ‘monitor‘.
There are some examples in the script, but please check the description of OLE commands in the manual provided in the downloaded RCS zip file if you want to know more.
Want to know more about possible combinations of PsychoPy and Brain Products solutions?
Here are some further reading suggestions:
- Newsletter article: How to verify timing in your EEG setup
- BCI+ blog post: LSL Markers and/or Hardware Triggers with Brain Products and Various Stimulus Presentation Software Tools
We hope you can make use of this smoothly integrated RCS interface in PsychoPy for your future experiments using open source and Brain Products equipment. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or if you want to tell us about your experiments. We are always happy to get ideas and feedback from our users.