Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to learn how to program?

    Yes, but probably only a little. There are many examples available and chances are that you can copy and modify an existing experiment. Perhaps, you will only need to change the stimuli and instructions.

  2. How can I add stimuli and where are they stored?

    Stimuli can be uploaded and will then be stored with Amazon S3. You can upload images, videos, sound files, text files, etc. You can also use videos from Youtube in your scripts.

  3. Can others link to my images and videos?

    No, images and other stimuli are served with special links that go 'stale' after a while. Linking to them is useless. However, because anything you show on the Internet can in principle be downloaded and saved, anybody can obtain your stimuli. Chances of this happening can be limited if you invite specific, pre-selected subjects.

  4. Where are my scripts and data stored?

    Scripts and data are stored on highly secure servers by TransIP in the Netherlands in accordance with European laws.

  5. Can I still get to my data when my prepaid experiment runs out?

    Yes. You can even still run your scripts but they will no longer store any new data.

  6. Can I use animations, drag-and-drop, and vector graphics?


  7. Will my scripts run on mobile phones?

    Yes, but only if you make sure they are suitable for that. You can even build scripts that run on smart watches or smart TVs!

  8. Can I really get my experiment up and running in a few hours?

    Yes, if you know a little about programming and your experiment is not too long and complicated, you should be able to get a basic version running in a short time. A basic memory experiment may only take minutes to implement, provided you have the stimuli handy. A complex game-like experiment may take much longer. If you have never programmed before, you must allow a few hours to learn the basics (which is probably all you need).

  9. Is the timing of events in scripts reliable on the Internet?

    Our latest measurements indicate that on most modern browsers and computers timing is not too bad and probably not much worse than on computers running native programs. To ensure accurate time, we have facilities for preloading images and sounds. We also use high resolution timers and animation frames, if these are available in the browser. Thanks to growing demands by the gaming industry for a great gaming experience in the browser, Internet-based experiments enjoy more and more accurate timing.

  10. Can I show subtitles in different languages with my movies?

    Yes, we fully support subtitles (and chapters) in movies.

  11. Will my sound files and movies run in all browsers?

    If you follow the instructions, the answer is yes. We use third-party libraries such as SoundMananger2 and MediaElement to ensure that sounds and movies run on as many platforms as possible.

  12. Can I present survey questions to my subjects?

    Yes, several types of popular survey question types are supported and can easily be inserted into a script.

  13. Can I show the results of an experiment with many subjects as feedback to each subject?

    Yes, it is possible to accumulate results of different subjects all doing an experiment. This aggretated data can be retrieved in a session and presented to the subject. This is especially valuable in teaching, for example, to show the average data of a task that all students took. Data can be presented in graphs or tables in a script. We even support pivot tables to easily calculate averages, standard errors etc.

  14. Can I do an analysis of variance on the data?

    Not within the NeuroTask system. We do not support statistical analyses at this point except very basic statistics such as average, standard deviation etc.

  15. How come I don't find a await() statement in Javascript anywhere else?

    We use a special version of JavaScript, an extension called Stratified Javascript, which does implement this. Without it, in most experiments it would be necessary to make extensive use of callback functions which are hard to understand for a beginning programmer and difficult to maintain and debug even for a seasoned professional. Normal Javascript cannot in any way give you the equivalent of the await() function. To be sure, you can still use this style of programming with NeuroTask Scripting if you think it makes sense.

  16. You seem to be using Dojo a lot but I like jQuery much better, can I use that instead?

    Yes, we like jQuery too. It is preloaded and ready to be used, as is Underscore.

  17. I like Javascript library X and style sheet package Y. Can I use those?

    No, for security reasons it is currently not possible to load arbitrary Javascript libraries and style sheets. If there is a general demand for this, we will make this possible in the future.

  18. I like Java or Flash (or Silverlight), can I use that?

    No, we don't like any of these systems and you cannot use them. Except that we use Flash as a fallback for systems that would not be able to play sounds or show movies otherwise. Well, if you insist, you can probably still make it work as you can use all of HTML and Javascript.

  19. I am an experienced programmer, will you force me to use weird and unpleasant code to do simple things?

    No! We are programmers too and we hate that. You can use JavaScript (etc) as usual plus the StratifiedJS extensions, plus Dojo, plus jQuery, plus Underscore. CSS is easily accessible with the .style() function.

  20. Can I use NeuroTask Scripting in the lab?

    Yes, no problem. With very critical timing or mandatory interaction with external machines like MRI or EEG scanners, eye-trackers, buttons etc. NeuroTask Scripting, however, cannot be used. In all other cases, there should be no problem, provided the lab machines have Internet.

  21. Can I use NeuroTask Scripting offline?

    No, to edit scripts and upload stimuli you must be online. If subjects start doing a NeuroTask script and lose their Internet connection, however, the script will continue to function in most cases. Responses are cached until the connection is restored again. If the script needs an active connection to access data, however, it will not work properly.