[FieldTrip] RealTime fMRI - Serial-event Tool

Tahereh L. Ansari taherahlansari at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 19 16:50:27 CET 2012

Hi,I'm trying to setup ft buffer to use with realtime fMRI but i'm not clear on how to use the 'serial-event tool'. My questions are (sorry if they seem basic, i'm a newcomer to fMRI):
1 - Is one of the purposes of the serial-event tool to stop the real-time analysis loop? if not, how is the buffer 'emptied'? (my matlab preprocessing script continues to read 'old' data after gui_streamer is paused - even after the matlab call: buffer('flush_hdr',  'buffer://localhost:1972) at the end of the scan
2 - Does the Siemens scanner output the serial event or does it ONLY output the TTL signal? if the latter, how is the TTL signal (from the scanner) fed into the synchronisation module? Our Siemens 3T generates a TTL pulse and this is transmitted to the presentation computer through the parallel port. Can we not use this setup with the FT buffer?
3 - Can we achieve what the serial-event tool is doing using parallel port (with or without the serial-event tool)? 
4 - If a serial port setup is necessary, can you suggest a (hardware) setup (preferably with a schematic)?
Many many thanks for your help!!

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