KB0027: Manually Creating a MindWare Event File

Event files contain timing information for all events captured during data acquisition. They are automatically created as a companion file to the data file (.mw) in BioLab 3.0. However, if you are analyzing a non-MindWare data file, this file will not automatically exist. If you would like to analyze based on events with this file, you will need to create an event file. This article details the MindWare Event file format, suggestions for how to create one manually, and how to use it in the analysis applications.

Note: MWX/MWI files created by BioLab 3.1 contain event information within them, and do not require the MindWare Event file.

MindWare Event File Format

The MindWare Event file is stored in tab-delimited column format, where each row represents a new event and each column stores specific information about that event. There are 4 columns of information:

  • Event Type – A string describing the source of the event. This is one of the two fields which can represent the event during analysis. Some examples of event types include:
Digital I/O Line 2
Keyboard : F2
  • Name – A string describing what the event means. This is the second field which can be used to represent the event during analysis. Some examples of names include:
Subject 1 leaves room
Baseline Start
  • Date – The date on which the event occurred. The format of this date is MM/DD/YYYY where
    • MM is the 2 digit month
    • DD is the 2 digit day
    • YYYY is the 4 digit year
    • These fields are separated by the forward slash “/” character
  • Time – The exact time at which the event occurred. The time stamp is specifiable down to the millisecond with the format HH:MM:SS.fff AM/PM where
    • HH is the 2 digit hours
    • MM is the 2 digit minutes
    • SS is the 2 digit seconds
    • fff is the 3 digit fractional seconds
    • AM/PM (choose one) specifies whether the event occurs before or after noon
    • These fields are separated by the colon “:” character with the exception of AM/PM, which is preceded by a space

A value must be present for all of these columns for each event specified.

The first 2 rows of a MindWare event file must contain specific values for these columns:

  1. Header – This row contains the labels for each of the columns specified above
  2. Start Event – This event must correspond with the start of the data file, as it is the event from which all subsequent events will calculate their relative offset from the beginning of the data file

Creating an Event File

Attached to this article is a template text file which can be used as a starting point when creating your own MindWare event files. This file can be modified using any text editor, but using a spreadsheet editor such as Excel can help ensure that the tab delimiters are properly used between columns. The following is an example of how to use Excel to do this:

First open Excel and navigate to the Event File template. Opening this file will launch the Text Import Wizard

Excel Import 1

Excel will recognize that the file is delimited, and in step 2 ensure that “Tab” has been detected as the delimiter

Excel Import 2

In Step 3, import each of the columns as Text as to not alter the formatting

Excel Import 3

Once the Text Import Wizard is complete, you can now edit your columns of data in the spreadsheet without needing to worry about column delimiters. When you are finished adding events, go to File>>Save As and ensure that Text (Tab Delimited) has been chosen as the file type

Save As


Using an Event File for Analysis

All MindWare analysis applications in the 3.x series allow the selection of an event file for event-based analysis. To select an event file, you must first open the corresponding data file. Once the data file is opened, browse to the event file using the folder button on the Event File Path control.

Event File in Apps

Ensure that Use Event File is checked, and the Events List should populate with the events from the event file. These events can now be used to index to specific times in the data file for analysis purposes.

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