Main Window
Here's a look at what the main SuperLab 4.0 screen looks like:
Other than the obvious use of color, notice the following new features:
  • You can now have multiple experiments open at the same time (see the circles 1, 2, and 3 in the screen snapshot)

  • A different checkbox next to a trial or event indicates whether it is using a list or not circles 4 and 6 )

  • SuperLab 4.0 provides an "expand" feature. For example, the "Tour Experiment" (circle 1) contains an event named "stim - happy faces" that uses a list. This list has 6 picture files. When you use the "expand" feature, a new experiment window opens (circle 2) with the original "stim - happy faces" event now converted into 6 events (circle 5) and the original "Practice Trial" converted into 6 trials, all properly linked, of course.

Trial Variables
The trial variables features provides new ways to vary and/or randomize various aspects of your experiment.  You can create three different types of trial variables:

Trial Variable Type

Example of Use


Vary the words being presented by color


Create a "set" of numbers, e.g. 50, 100, 150, and 200, and then vary an inter-stimulus interval based on a number picked from this set

Location on the Screen

Create a set of four screen locations, then tell SuperLab (in the Event Editor) to present the stimulus at one of these four locations, either at random or in sequence

For example, to present a stimulus at one of four different locations on the screen, you no longer need to create four events -- you simply create a trial variable of type "Location on the Screen" and enter the four screen locations, as shown below:
You can also tell SuperLab the order in which levels are picked (sequential, random with replacement, or random with no replacement) and when to start choosing levels or reshuffle all over again, e.g. per group or per trial:
In the Event Editor, you then tell SuperLab that a visual stimulus' position is variable instead of fixed.
Multiple Input Devices
A new feature in SuperLab 4.0 allows multiple input devices to be used at the same time. The screen snapshot below shows how the keyboard, an I/O card, and mouse are being used in the same experiment:
Other new features:
  • SuperLab now supports string input, e.g. a participant can now type complete sentences

  • A response can now consist of a key release instead of key press

  • A response can be deleted or renamed; instead of being stuck with the default "Button 1", you can now rename it to, for example, "Target (blue key)"

Multiple Correct Responses
SuperLab 4.0 now allows more than one correct response per event. They can even be from different devices.  Additional features:
  • A correct response can now be "None", making it easier to develop Go/No-Go experiments

  • A response can now be linked to an event's code value instead of the event itself, making it much easier to develop recall/memory experiments

New Event Types
The Event Editor in SuperLab 4.0 provides support for new event types and enhancements to existing ones:

New Event Types



Present one or several on the screen at the same time

Self-Paced Reading

E.g. enter "SuperLab 4.0\now supports\self-paced reading" and SuperLab will take care of breaking the sentence into three segments and presenting them one after the other


Works similarly to self-paced reading except that a new segment is displayed on top of the previous one

Eye Tracker Command

Cedrus is working with eye tracker manufacturers to integrate eye tracker support into the program

Enhanced Event Types


Picture File

- Use JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF file formats; on the Mac, you can additionally use any file format

- Present multiple pictures simultaneously


Text is no longer limited to a single line.  You can also display variables, e.g. enter "Thank you for participating in this experiment, $(ParticipanName)" and the participant's name will be displayed

Conditional Branching
Conditional branching is one of the most highly anticipated features in SuperLab 4.0. It is implemented in the Block Editor using two different methods. The first, simpler yet very powerful and useful method is shown in the screen snapshot below:
Note how:
  • You can build powerful expressions like the one shown above very easily -- no programming just as promised

  • Trials in a block can be presented if the expression is true or false, but also SuperLab can "loop", i.e. keep presenting trials in the block until the expression becomes true or false

  • You can simply click on the "or" and "and" logical operators to form complex expressions

As an example, this feature makes it very easy to implement a learning experiment by telling SuperLab to keep repeating trials in a block until the average reaction time over the past 15 responses drops under 500 milliseconds.
Conditional Branching II
The second form of conditional branching in SuperLab 4.0 lets you create independent, "named macros". A macro is simply:
  • An expression similar to the one you saw in the previous slide. When an expression is evaluated by SuperLab, the result is always true or false.

  • A set of "actions" that SuperLab 4.0 should take if the expression evaluates to "true"

  • An alternate set of actions that SuperLab 4.0 should take if the expression evaluates to "false"

Once a named macro has been created, it can be used in several blocks, and a block can run any number of macros.
And it's all done using an intuitive point-and-click user interface. No programming.
Yes, There is More!
This tour highlighted some of the new features in SuperLab 4.0, but not everything. There are other new features such as:
  • Unicode Support: Asian and other international fonts can be used with the same ease as English and Western fonts

  • Support for MRI: SuperLab can now present trials at precise intervals

  • Deep Integration with Eye Tracker: Cedrus is presently working with four eye tracker manufacturers to make it a snap to use an eye tracker in your experiment (SuperLab X4 edition only)

  • Support for ERP/EEG: SuperLab can now pause and resume an experiment.  The final version 4.0 will also provide the ability to have certain events automatically presented on start, pause, resume, or termination of an experiment.  This comes in handy when you want to automatically pause the ERP recording when an experiment is paused or terminated.

  • Cross Platform Experiments: Experiments can now be easily moved between Windows PCs, PowerPC-based Macs, and Intel-based Macs.

  • Randomize Events: within a trial (in addition to randomizing trials within a block)

  • Participant Groups: make it easier to create between-subject designs