Measuring Reaction Time

Reaction time is the amount of time that it takes someone to respond to a stimulus. A stimulus is just something that happens in the person's environment, like a beep or a change in color. As an example, try using this website to measure your visual reaction time. In this case, the visual stimulus is when the screen changes from red to green. The website measures how long it takes you to respond to this change.

In this assignment, you will use the Finch to measure someone's reaction time. Start by writing a function to measure a user's visual reaction time. The visual stimulus will be the Finch's beak changing from one color to another color.

First, think about how you will display the visual stimulus. It is important that the timing of the stimulus be random. The Finch's beak should stay the first color for a random number of seconds before it changes to the second color. Why is this important?

Next, consider how you will measure the user's reaction time. Which Finch sensor will you use? What change in this sensor value will indicate that the user has responded? You will need to measure the time in seconds between the stimulus and the user's response.

Once you have a function to measure the visual reaction time, you should write a program that uses this function to measure the reaction time 5-10 times and calculate the mean visual reaction time. How does the reaction time you measure with the Finch compare to the one you measured with the website?

Your final task is to also measure the user's mean auditory reaction time. To do this, you will need to modify your reaction time function to use an auditory stimulus. How does the mean auditory reaction time compare to the mean visual reaction time?

Extension: Do some research on visual and auditory reaction times. How do the reaction times you measured compare with other results? 

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