Zanscripts & services

Navigate to the Zanscript Directory

The Zancript link (bottom centre of the Zantiks Console page) brings up the Zanscript directory. This page is a listing of all the Zanscripts saved on the unit (see Figure 6). The demo scripts and any newly created or uploaded scripts are accessed here.


Explore a test script

While on the Zanscript Directory page click on the 'Edit' button next to the script’s name which takes you to the Zanscript Online Development page where you can make changes to the scripts. (N.b. if you click on the script name on the Zanscript Directory page you will open a read-only file of the script.)

Below is an example of a preloaded sample script in the Zanscript Online Development environment. The two screenshots of a Zanscript Online Development page illustrate how demo scripts are sometimes annotated with descriptions of each command. The comments always follow a hash sign (so that they are not read as commands) and will appear in brown text on this page.

Standard script editing page 3Standard-script-edit-page-3.svg#asset:911


Create a new script

To ensure no permanent changes are made to the demo scripts, copy the text in a demo script into a new script file.

  1. From the Zanscript directory, click Create New, enter a new file name and click Create file (see first screenshot in illustration above).
  2. This brings up the Zanscript Online Development page and a scripting box (see second screenshot in illustration above).
  3. Alternatively, you could write a new script, or copy and paste elements of scripts from other sample Zanscript files.
    • The script will not autosave as you write so click on the Save button at the top of the page at regular intervals.

Once familiar with some of the demo scripts, you may want to use them in your own new scripts, making some amendments. Typical amendments include:

  • Trial times: DEFINE commands can be edited in order to lengthen or shorten trials within the experiment. For example, baseline or, probe measures and intertrial interval times can all be changed.
  • Types of stimuli: The colour, shape or style of the stimuli may be edited.
  • Stimulus exposure: The number of times aspects of the experiment can be performed by the system. For example, repeating a stimulus exposure 8 times.

Create and load a new service

Once the script is complete, click the Build button (found both at the top and bottom of the page). This saves the script and brings up the Zanscript Compiler page (see illustration below). The compiler page details any errors or warnings found in the script. It also tells whether the build is successful or not.


  1. A long line warning will appear if your script has notes - this does not effect the script so ignore these warnings (see illustration above).
  2. To go back into the script and make changes, click the Edit/Rebuild link at the bottom of the page (see illustration above).
  3. If the script has built successfully, navigate to the Home page using the Home link at the bottom of the page.
  4. While on the Home page make a note of any empty slots, or slots with services that can be overwritten, to upload a ‘new service’.
  5. Navigate to the Settings page (click the link on the Home page). The Settings page includes ‘Zanscript shortcuts’. The 20 numbered slots are used to load scripts to the Home page. In the number box chosen to set the new service, type just the script's name (from the file compiled; e.g., COPYaversionlearninggreen) and click Set. Please note: you need to wait a few minutes to allow the system time to build the zanscript as a .zex file.
  6. The system will bring up a new page which will indicate whether a successful link occurs.
  7. Using the Home link navigate back to the Home page, where the new ‘service’ is seen under the relevant slot. The new service is now ready to run!


Assets are used to assign detection arenas for tracking. A range of assets/bitmap images are included and referenced in some of the demo scripts for the Zantiks AD. An asset file is needed for every asset mentioned in a Zanscript. Assets can be found in the Assets directory (link to this directory from the Administration section found at the bottom of the Zantiks Console page).

The first image below illustrates the asset, operant5hole.bmp. This asset is often used when loading detector zones on the Zantiks AD. You will see that 7 colours are used in 7 different zones on the screen, each colour is mapped against the central bar of 8 colours, which is read by the unit line by line, starting top left with light blue as detector1, red as detector2, pink as detector3 and so on until green, in this case the last colour used in the image, as detector7.

Asset, operant5hole, which can be used in scripts to set out up to 8 detector zones.
Arenas 48
MWP arena 24 wellplate
AD 2 lengthwise arenas
AD 2 widthwise arenas
AD 3 widthwise arenas

Edit a service

If at any time you want to change any of the elements in the ‘service’/experiment:

  1. Go back to the Zanscript directory page.
  2. Click on the Edit button for the relevant experiment's script.
  3. In the experiment’s Zanscript Online Development page, make the script edits and click on the 'Build' button.
  4. This will update the Zanscript and the ‘service’, so that when you next run this ‘service’ it will take into account your changes.

Run a service

  1. Click on the ‘service’ that you have just uploaded. The name of the service should appear as the ‘Current service’ at the top of the page.
  2. Click on the ‘Live Video’ button in the bottom centre of the Home page to see a live video of the test environment (see illustration below). The clock at the bottom shows GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). When no service is running in the unit, the bottom centre shows the status of the unit, *IDLE*.
  3. Click the ‘Run’ button at the bottom right of the screen to start the experiment. Note that the bottom centre will now show the status *RUNNING* in a pink bar. A stopwatch at the bottom of the video screen will change to show the live time of the experiment in seconds.
  4. To stop the experiment at any time, click on the ‘Stop’ button at the bottom right of the screen. This halts the experiment and clicking ‘Run’ again starts the experiment from the beginning. There is no pause button.