Debian Science Project
Debian Science packages for Psychophysics

This metapackage will install Debian packages which might be useful for carrying out any experiment relating physical stimuli and their psychological effects.

The selection of packages is targeting software for stimuli delivery. For additional software related to the analysis of the acquired data refer to science-neuroscience-cognitive, med-imaging depending on the domain of application. Additionally look into science-bci since those often provide a complete loop frameworks including stimuli delivery.


For a better overview of the project's availability as a Debian package, each head row has a color code according to this scheme:

If you discover a project which looks like a good candidate for Debian Science to you, or if you have prepared an unofficial Debian package, please do not hesitate to send a description of that project to the Debian Science mailing list

Links to other tasks

Debian Science Psychophysics packages

Official Debian packages with high relevance

Bibliothek für den Zugriff auf die Kinect-Hardware -- Entwicklungsdateien
Maintainer: Nicolas Bourdaud
Versions of package libfreenect-dev
Debtags of package libfreenect-dev:
devellang:c, lang:c++, library
hardwarecamera, usb
Popcon: 7 users (3 upd.)*
Newer upstream!
License: DFSG free

libfreenect ist eine plattformübergreifende Schnittstellenbibliothek für die Kinect-Hardware. Mit libfreenect können sie die Hardware initialisieren und aktivieren sowie Daten kommunizieren. Derzeit unterstützt die Bibliothek den Zugriff auf RGB- und »depth«-Videostreams, Motoren, Beschleunigungsmesser und LEDs. Darüber hinaus stellt sie einige Sprachanbindungen bereit (C++, Python, …).

Diese Bibliothek ist die vom Projekt OpenKinect entwickelte systemnahe Komponente. Das Projekt ist eine offene Gemeinschaft von Menschen, die sich für die Nutzung der Xbox-Kinect-Hardware mit PCs und anderen Geräten interessieren.

Dies ist das Entwicklungspaket. Es enthält die Bibliotheken und Header für Softwareentwicklung mit libfreenect.

toolbox for vision research -- Octave bindings
Versions of package octave-psychtoolbox-3
Popcon: 3 users (13 upd.)*
Versions and Archs
License: DFSG free

Psychophysics Toolbox Version 3 (PTB-3) is a free set of Matlab and GNU/Octave functions for vision research. It makes it easy to synthesize and show accurately controlled visual and auditory stimuli and interact with the observer.

The Psychophysics Toolbox interfaces between Matlab or Octave and the computer hardware. The Psychtoolbox's core routines provide access to the display frame buffer and color lookup table, allow synchronization with the vertical retrace, support millisecond timing, allow access to OpenGL commands, and facilitate the collection of observer responses. Ancillary routines support common needs like color space transformations and the QUEST threshold seeking algorithm.

See also for additional information about systems tune-up and initial configuration.

This package contains bindings for Octave.

Umgebung zur Erstellung psychologischer Reize in Python
Versions of package psychopy
Popcon: 9 users (1 upd.)*
Versions and Archs
License: DFSG free

PsychoPy bietet eine Umgebung um psychologische Reize unter Verwendung der Skriptsprache Python zu erstellen. Sie kombiniert die grafischen Stärken von OpenGL mit der einfachen Syntax von Python, um der Psychophysik ein freies und einfaches Präsentations- und Kontrollpaket für Reize bereit zu stellen.

Das Ziel ist es, dem geschäftigen Wissenschaftler Werkzeuge zur Kontrolle von Zeitnehmung und Windowing sowie einen einfachen Satz von vorgefertigten Reizen und Methoden zu liefern. Die Merkmale von PsychoPy:

  • IDE mit grafischer Oberfläche für die Codierung mit einer mächtigen Skriptsprache (Python)
  • grafische Oberfläche für die schnelle Entwicklung von Stimulationssequenzen
  • verwendet hardwarebeschleunigte Grafik (OpenGL)
  • einfache Monitorkalibrierung bei Spectrascan PR650 durch gute Integration
  • einfache Routinen für die Staircase-Methode und die Methode der konstanten Stimuli sowie für Ausgleichsrechnungen und Bootstrapping
  • einfache (oder komplexe) GUIs mittels wxPython
  • einfache Schnittstelle für Joysticks, Mäuse, Soundkarten etc. mittels PyGame
  • Abspielen von Filmen (MPG, DivX, AVI, QuickTime) als Reize
The package is enhanced by the following packages: python-pyoptical
Please cite: Jonathan W.Peirce: PsychoPy—Psychophysics software in Python. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 162(1-2):8-13 (2007)
Screenshots of package psychopy

Official Debian packages with lower relevance

graphical experiment builder for the social sciences
Maintainer: Sebastiaan Mathot
Versions of package opensesame
Popcon: 4 users (0 upd.)*
Versions and Archs
License: DFSG free

This graphical environment provides an easy to use, point-and-click interface for creating psychological experiments. In addition to a powerful sketchpad for creating visual stimuli, OpenSesame features a sampler and synthesizer for sound playback. For more complex tasks, OpenSesame supports Python scripting using the built-in editor with syntax highlighting.

Please cite: Mathôt, S., & Theeuwes, J.: OpenSesame (Version 0.22) [Computer software and manual] (Retrieved December 18, 2010)
Screenshots of package opensesame
Debian Science packages for Cognitive Neuroscience
Maintainer: Debian Science Team
Versions of package science-neuroscience-cognitive
Debtags of package science-neuroscience-cognitive:
Popcon: 3 users (1 upd.)*
Versions and Archs
License: DFSG free

This metapackage will install Debian packages which might be useful for scientists doing cognitive neuroscience research. This comprises the full research process from conducting psychophysical experiments, over data acquisition and analysis, to visualization and typesetting of scientific results.

The selection of packages is targeting the application of analysis techniques. Methods developers are referred to the science-statistics, science-imageanalysis, science-numericalcomputation, med-imaging, and med-imaging-dev metapackages for a variety of additional software that might be useful in the context of cognitive neuroscience.

Packaging has started and developers might try the packaging code in VCS

De Bruijn cycle generator
Versions of package debruijn
Versions and Archs
License: BSD-4-clause
Debian package not available
Version: 1.6-2

Stimulus counter-balance is important for many experimental designs. This command-line software creates De Bruijn cycles, which are pseudo-random sequences with arbitrary levels of counterbalance. "Path-guided" de Bruijn cycles may also be created. These sequences encode a hypothesized neural modulation at specified temporal frequencies, and have enhanced detection power for BOLD fMRI experiments.

Unofficial packages built by somebody else

programming and running psychological experiments
License: GPL-3+
Language: Ruby

Psytoolkit offers

  • Scripting language designed for psychological experiments:
  • Structure designed for experiments (tasks/trials/trial lists/random selection/blocks).
  • Use of bitmaps (png,jpeg,tiff,and many more).
  • Use of MPEG videos.
  • Read from keyboard, mouse, and external devices.
  • Voicekey support via IoLab device
  • Easy programming of parallel port and advanced IO cards.
  • Use of variables.
  • Conditional expressions (if/then/while).
  • Easy interfacing with statistical software R for online feedback to participants.
  • Easy interfacing with C language.
  • It is easy to use.
  • Easy functions for visual and auditory stimulus presentation.
  • Precise timing of stimulus presentation and data collection.
  • Can be used as scripting language, but also comes with a C-library.
  • Comes with a questionnaire presenter psyquest
  • Online Documentation.
Remark of Debian Science team: Depends on libhid removed from Debian due to needed TLC

No known packages available but some record of interest (WNPP bug)

Pebl - wnpp
platform for psychology experiments
License: GPL
Debian package not available
Language: C++

PEBL (Psychology Experiment Building Language) is a system designed for creating psychology and neuroscience experiments and tests. It offers a simple programming language tailor-made for creating and conducting many standard experiments.

Please cite: Mueller, S. T.: The PEBL Manual (2011)
Visionegg - wnpp
Python library for 2D/3D visual stimulus generation
License: LGPL
Debian package not available

The Vision Egg is a programming library that uses standard, inexpensive computer graphics cards to produce visual stimuli for vision research experiments.

No known packages available

neurological stimulation, data acquisition and experiment control
License: GPL
Debian package not available
Language: C++

Nrec , developed by Friedemann Bunjes and Jan Gukelberger at the Neurology of Tübingen University, is a package for stimulation, data acquisition and experiment control in the flavour of cognitive fMRI research, which has been expanded to include flexible biosignal acquisition and sensory stimulation. It produces Matlab-readable files and generally puts an emphasis on standards like using the comedi Linux data acquisition library, OpenGL, XML parameter file format and hdf5 data storage files format.

License: GPL
Debian package not available
Language: C++

Psychlops is a free C++ library to offer the easy way to develop a demonstration of various types of visual stimulus used in the Vision science.

Binary builds are available only for OS X and Windows. Sources available from sf's SVN:

C/C++ experiment programming library for cognitive scientists
License: GPL
Debian package not available
Language: C

Tscope is a C/C++ experiment programming library for cognitive scientists. It provides functions for graphics, sound, timing, randomization and response registration.

Please cite: Stevens, M., Lammertyn, J., Verbruggen, F., & Vandierendonk, A.: Tscope: A C library for programming cognitive experiments on the MS Windows platform (2006)
Remark of Debian Science team: Primarily targeting Windows platform, provides some functionality on Linux
*Popularitycontest results: number of people who use this package regularly (number of people who upgraded this package recently) out of 196817