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Abstract

In the NeuroIS field, experimental software needs to simultaneously present experimental stimuli to participants while recording, analyzing, or displaying neurophysiological measures. For example, a researcher might record a user’s heart beat (neurophysiological measure) as the user interacts with an e-commerce website (stimulus) to track changes in user arousal or show a user’s changing arousal levels during an exciting game. In this paper, we identify requirements for a NeuroIS experimental platform that we call Brownie and present its architecture and functionality. We then evaluate Brownie via a literature review and a case study that demonstrates Brownie’s capability to meet the requirements in a complex research context. We also verify Brownie’s usability via a quantitative study with prospective experimenters who implemented a test experiment in Brownie and an alternative software. We summarize the salient features of Brownie as follows: 1) it integrates neurophysiological measurements, 2) it incorporates real-time processing of neurophysiological data, 3) it facilitates research on individual and group behavior in the lab, 4) it offers a large variety of options for presenting experimental stimuli, and 5) it is open source and easily extensible with open source libraries. In summary, we conclude that Brownie is innovative in its potential to reduce barriers for IS researchers by fostering replicability and research collaboration and to support NeuroIS and interdisciplinary research in cognate areas, such as management, economics, or human-computer interaction.

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