Background

At the Black Box ToolKit we specialize in helping you achieve accurate presentation, synchronization, and response timing in your computer-based psychology experiments. Remember that when experiment generators say they are millisecond 'precise' all this means is they report measures which are in units of a millisecond, not that the timings reported are accurate! We help you ensure accuracy.

We have a range of products that help you carry out the experiments that you have designed but in a much more accurate and consistent way. The gold standard for assessing timing accuracy and self-validation is the Black Box ToolKit v2. For real time, millisecond accurate, event marking we have the mBBTK v2 (event marking version). Companion products act as standalone millisecond accurate response devices. It doesn't matter what your experimental paradigm or platform we can help you. Our hardware and software is used in labs across the world and encompasses Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Language and Vision research among others.

Need more help?

If you are unsure of how our products could work for you take a look at our What, Why and How pages. Answers to common application questions can be found in the FAQ section.

If you have an application in mind but aren't sure, feel free to get in touch via email. Alternatively contact us by mail, phone or fax. We are here to help!

Products that can help improve your millisecond timing accuracy


Not sure which of our products could benefits you most? Take a look at our product comparison table or contact us for free and impartial advice.

Black Box ToolKit v2™

The gold standard for assessing millisecond timing accuracy and self-validation. Check experiments presentation accuracy, synchronization with other equipment and response timing independently of your computer. The BBTK v2 lets you tune your experiment generators accuracy in a particular study by automatically simulating a human participant that is millisecond accurate. For example, it can respond to any stimulus and generate a response with a known RT as it steps through your psychology experiment. This enables you to modify onsets, delays and RT's so that they are accurate in the real world. Remember the BBTK v2 is a dedicated, self-contained hardware device that is designed to independently record stimulus onsets and reaction times in the real world as they occur with sub-millisecond accuracy. Simple to use with a range of external sensors. Be sure of your research results prior to publication. Compare

mBlack Box ToolKit v2™ (event marking version)

The mBBTK v2 (event marking version) is a dedicated self-contained hardware device that can be used to event mark or produce TTL triggers in EEG, neuroscience, eye tracking and any psychology experiment or cognitive paradigm. It is the gold standard for any experiment where you need to independently TTL event mark stimulus onsets, synchronization signals or responses with sub-millisecond accuracy. All timing data and TTL triggers are logged in real time so that you can analyze performance later safe in the knowledge that your event marks were made at exactly the right time. Simple to use with a range of external sensors and intuitive software. For the ultimate in timing accuracy why not let your experiment generator handle the presentation, but let the mBBTK v2 event mark and collect RT data using a BBTK USB response pad. Compare

USB TTL event marking module

Designed as a parallel port replacement for simple TTL event marking/TTL triggers from within an experiment generator. Plug into a USB port on your PC and our USB TTL Module will appear as a Virtual Com Port (VCP). To event mark send a two byte code, e.g. "01" to event mark on channel 1. Works out of the box with any experiment generator that can read and write to a standard serial port. You should note that timing accuracy is dependent on the accuracy of your experiment generator as the USB TTL Module only provides a TTL interface, but does not guarantee accuracy. If you need independent sub-millisecond event marking accuracy that is 100% reliable you should consider the mBBTK v2. Compare

1-8 button USB response pad

Our millisecond accurate USB response pad is competitively priced and exceeds the specifications of any other response pad currently on the market. It appears to your experiment as a standard USB keyboard where a button response registers as a standard key press. What's more every button press also produces a TTL event mark/TTL trigger. Finished in an attractive carbon fiber effect, our response box houses up to 8 buttons in a range of colors and locations (can also have sockets for up to 8 external buttons). A truly fit and forget solution to help you improve your response time accuracy on any platform, with any experiment generator. If you can use a keyboard, you can use our response pad! Remember you can combine our USB response pad with either a BBTK v2 to check presentation and response timings or for when you need to TTL event mark stimuli and responses, the mBBTK v2 (event marking version). Compare

1-8 button USB response pad with voice key

Housing up to 8 buttons our millisecond accurate USB response pad with integrated voice key allows you to quickly and easily accept vocal responses with any experiment. Set the mic sensitivity and each time a vocal response is made the voice key will send a standard keyboard keystroke to your experiment. Works on any platform, with any experiment generator. If you can use a keyboard, you can use our voice key! What's more every button press and vocal response also produces a TTL event mark/TTL trigger. Finished in an attractive carbon fiber effect, our response box houses up to 8 buttons in a range of colors and locations (can also have sockets for up to 8 external buttons). Remember you can combine our USB response pad with voice key with either a BBTK v2 to check presentation and response timings or for when you need to TTL event mark stimuli and responses, the mBBTK v2 (event marking version). Compare

4 port USB response box

The 4 port USB response box is designed for use in custom applications where our 1-8 button USB response pads cannot be used. It emulates a standard keyboard and allows you to plug-in 1-4 high quality external buttons using a 3.5mm mono jack. When pushed a standard keystroke is sent to the computer as though a key on a keyboard had been pressed. It enables you to build your own custom input solutions quickly and easily. You should note that the USB response box can't automatically correct for any mistimings that are inherent within the experiment generator you use. To be sure of your response time accuracy you should use a BBTK v2, or for where you need event marking, a mBBTK v2 (event marking version). Compare

Custom built devices and consultancy

As the Black Box ToolKit employs Psychologists, Electronic Engineers and Programmers we can offer a wide range of bespoke services. We have the design and manufacturing capabilities to produce one-off custom built devices for a reasonable cost or to customize one of our existing products for you. Need more production volume – we can help here too. We also offer an independent timing audit and benchmarking service for those who need reassurance that their own measures are millisecond accurate.

Why not contact us for a quote for custom hardware design and manufacture or about our consultancy services in order to take your project to the next level.

About company


The Black Box Toolkit Ltd was founded in 2003 by a team of psychologists, software experts and electronic engineers.


Dedicated to improving the millisecond timing accuracy and experimental rigor of researchers in the behavioral and brain sciences.

We provide hardware, software and consultancy solutions across a wide range of fields to make this a reality. Print flyer

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    +44 (0)114 3030056
  • Email:
    info@blackboxtoolkit.com
  • Address:
    The Black Box ToolKit Ltd,
    PO Box 3802, Sheffield,
    S25 9AG, UK