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Processing is a project out of MIT that is meant as a relatively simple programming language for creative computing. The code is very similar to code for the Arduino, which makes it easy to use, however this code runs on the computer rather than the microcontroller. So to interact with things in the physical world via the Arduino, you have to send information back and forth between the two in the form of serial communication (which travels via the USB cable if you have the Arduino plugged into this computer). Here are a few uses of these features:


- Catch serial data of behavioral events from the Arduino, save them to a text file and plot the output over the course of the session.

- Generate more complex visual or auditory stimuli, then use Arduino to record animal responses and give rewards, etc.

- Use a webcam to track animals for triggering stimuli based upon animal position.


Processing is especially good at graphics, and it integrates with a number of useful packages for reading and writing video data. Examples include: OpenCV (for computer vision), GSVideo (for video processing and computer vision), OpenGL (for rendering graphics, such as 2D and 3D shapes).


Here is  example Processing code for capturing and plotting serial data from the Arduino. during a tactile detection/discrimination task



NOTE: we are currently exploring the use of Processing to deliver bar grating visual stimuli for visual operant behaviors (see Mouse Visual Operant example). If you would like to contribute to this project, please email us at:


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