A simple computer controlled analogue ramp generator for producing multiple ramp and hold stimuli
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 39: 45-52 (1991)
T. Matheson and F. Ditz
This report describes an inexpensive ramp generator which produces multiple ramp and hold stimuli ("staircase type" wave forms). The output voltage is analogue and is, therefore, free of stepping artifacts characteristic of digital function generators. When coupled with a standard power amplifier and mechanical vibrator, this system is particularly suitable for stimulation of mechanoreceptive sense organs. Connection to the serial port of an IBM personal computer, or the user port of a BBC computer allows complex ramp and hold sequences to be developed and repeated. The number, duration and sign of ramps, and the duration of intervening hold periods can be set using the computer. This system has been used successfully to characterise phasic and tonic neurones in the locust metathoracic femoral chordotonal organ (a leg position and movement detector).
Key words: Analogue ramp generator; Mechanical stimulus; Ramp and hold stimulus; Mechanoreceptor; Chordotonal organ; Experimental control
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