Self in conflict

Actors and agency in the mediated sequential Simon Task

Example trial: subjects participate in the experiment displayed on the virtual screen while avatars imitate their gestures.


     The Self in Conflict: Actors and agency in the mediated sequential Simon task is a study by Michiel Spapé, Imtiaj Ahmed, Giulio Jacucci & Niklas Ravaja concerning the degree to which identification with an animated "avatar" could affect attention and memory. The results, published in open access journal Frontiers in Psychology, highlight the potential of the platform to inform basic cognitive research. However, as we note in the paper, we imagine various other disciplines would be interested in using the experimental setup to test, for example, social cognition (using various avatars, identifying with avatars) or motor control (via the affordable continuous motion tracking). For these reasons, we provide the experiment for anyone interested free of charge.


Source and executables. To install: right-click, save, extract anywhere. Please note that your browser might complain that the file is not often downloaded and for that reason "may be harmful". It should not be - we will obviously not take responsibility if it is - but do let me know if there is any problem.


The compressed archive contains a "readme.txt" file, which includes the following information:
Included zip file "" contains full source code (by Imtiaj Ahmed) regarding a study described in the manuscript "The self in conflict: actors and agency in the mediated sequential Simon Task", submitted for publication in Frontiers in Psychology. Please notice this is academic, open and freely available software, not commercial and consequently not tested on a variety of systems. None of the authors accepts any liability in others using the software.

To install: extract .zip file to C:\PsyGame (though anywhere else should be fine as well).

* A kinect (original was used previously - the new Kinect One should work better)
* Windows Vista/7/8/8.1
* A reasonable graphics card
* the Kinect Developer toolkit for Windows.

After extracting and running PsyGame.exe, the experiment should commence as is indicated in the manuscript. The trials can be easily adjusted in the trials.txt file in the main directory of the zip file. The explanation of the conditions should be fairly obvious, but notice that:
Static refers to static avatars (they do not follow the user's movements)
Dynamic refers to the animated avatars (they do follow the user's movements)
AnimatedLeft/AnimatedRight refer to pre-programmed avatar movements: These were not tested in the experiment, but are animations (gestures) of the avatar that occur at the average reaction time of the participant but independent of their actions. It is thus possible to animate the avatar to move its right arm at the exact moment the participant moves their left arm.


Please contact Michiel M. Spapé or Imtiaj Ahmed for help installing or other questions.