BITTSy: Behavioral Infant & Toddler Testing System

This video overview was originally presented at the International Congress of Infant Studies, Summer 2020

BITTSy was created to fill a need for a multi-paradigm experimental testing platform for infants that can be implemented consistently across multiple testing sites. BITTSy is capable of running key infant behavioral testing paradigms, including Headturn Preference Procedure [HPP], Preferential Looking, and Visual Fixation/Habituation, through the same interface. BITTSy is the first standardized system to support headturn preference procedures, and the first with the capability to combine this paradigm with other methods in a single testing session.

BITTSy is a freely available, standardized system that is compatible with modern Windows operating systems. It uses only off-the-shelf hardware/wiring, making it easy to set up for researchers across a variety of settings, including those without technical support staff. As the first such system for HPP, BITTSy provides advantages to both current and new users of the paradigm, allowing for easier setup, improved functionality, and greater consistency in cross-site data collection.

BITTSy is capable of presenting images, videos, and audio files through single or multiple monitors and loudspeakers, as well as controlling an array of lights (e.g. for HPP). Study procedures are specified through a structured but highly customizable protocol file, which implements built-in functions, such as randomly choosing a stimulus, displaying it, and waiting for an end condition such as an experimenter’s keypress or a looking time requirement to be met. Through its protocol specification system, BITTSy allows for a greater degree of flexibility and control over the experiment structure and progression, for HPP as well as preferential looking and visual fixation procedures.

Visit BITTSy's setup guide and manual to learn more about using BITTSy to create and run experiments.