Two open source designs for a low-cost operant chamber using Raspberry Pi™

J Exp Anal Behav. 2019 May;111(3):508-518. doi: 10.1002/jeab.520. Epub 2019 Apr 30.


After almost a century of use and development, operant chambers remain a significant financial investment for scientists. Small powerful single-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi™ offer researchers a low-cost alternative to expensive operant chambers. In this paper, we describe two new operant chambers, one using nose-poke ports as operanda and another using a touchscreen. To validate the chamber designs, rats learned to perform both visual discrimination and delayed alternation tasks in each chamber. Designs and codes are open source and serve as a starting point for researchers to develop behavioral experiments or educational demonstrations.

Keywords: delayed alternation; nose-poke; operant chamber; rat; touchscreen; visual discrimination.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavioral Sciences / instrumentation
  • Behavioral Sciences / methods
  • Conditioning, Operant*
  • Delay Discounting
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Female
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rats / psychology
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Software