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OpenSesame is a graphical, open-source experiment builder for the social sciences. It sports a modern and intuitive user interface that allows you to build complex experiments with a minimum of effort. With OpenSesame you can create a wide range of experiments. The plug-in framework and Python scripting allow you to incorporate external devices, such as eye trackers, response boxes, and parallel port devices, into your experiment.

OpenSesame is freely available under the General Public Licence.

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The team

OpenSesame is developed by a loose collection of individuals. Anyone is welcome to join the team of regular contributors.

Sebastiaan Mathôt, project manager and lead developer

Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université

I’m currently a Marie Curie fellow at the Laboratoire de Pyschologie Cognitive in Marseille, France. My research focuses on the relationship between the pupillary light response, visual attention, and eye movements.

OpenSesame is the more pragmatic side of my job. With this project, we aim to provide experimental psychologists and neuroscientists with a free (in every sense of the word) high quality experiment builder.

Daniel Schreij, developer

Department of Cognitive Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

I have always had a fond interest in both technology and human cognition and therefore chose to study Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is a combination of these two disciplines. During this time, I was mainly drawn towards the ‘what makes people tick’ side of AI and this led me to follow a master’s degree in Cognitive Science. In this area, I also graduated for my PhD Degree at the VU University of Amsterdam, where I currently work as a post-doc. During all this time, I never lost my interest in computer science and kept up to speed with the latest developments in this area. I am happy I can assist Sebastiaan in the development of OpenSesame, as it allows to keep doing more pragmatic tasks like software development which I really like, and at the same time lets me stay involved in psychological research.

Lotje van der Linden, documentation and support

Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, Aix-Marseille Université

I’m working as a PhD student under supervision of Françoise Vitu at the Laboratoire Psychologie Cognitive at the Aix-Marseille Université. My PhD project is on whether affordances (possibilities for action in our environment) influence how and where we move our eyes.

I really enjoy being involved in the OpenSesame project, from helping with the documentation to offering support on the forum. So don’t hesitate to post any questions!

Edwin Dalmaijer, developer

Department of Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University

I’m currently a master student of Neuroscience and Cognition, as well as a research assistant at Utrecht University. For the OpenSesame project, I maintain the portable package and help with development (mostly plug-ins).

Being young and idealistic, I am a strong believer in the principles of open source software. I think OpenSesame is a great example of how open source software can really be a good alternative to - often very expensive - commercial software.

Eduard Ort, documentation and Support

Department of Cognitive Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Shortly, I will start as a PhD candidate with Chris Olivers and Johannes Fahrenfort. Together we will investigate what kinds of representations can serve as attentional templates in visual search.

Having used Opensesame during my studies, I am very happy to have gotten the chance to contribute to its development. I think many researchers could benefit from using this powerful and easy-to-use tool.

Josh, Documentation and support

Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université

Hi! I am a master’s student at the Cognitive Neuropsychology program of the VU university of Amsterdam. I’m currently working on a thesis project in Marseille, and I hope to enroll in a PhD program in the near future.

In the meantime, I’ll happily contribute in finding a solution to any problem you might encounter while realizing your experiment (or whatever it is you want to use OpenSesame for - heck, you could even make games with it!)


Many thanks go out to Jan Theeuwes, Wouter Kruijne, Jarik den Hartog, Cor Stoof, the entire Department of Cognitive Psychology at the VU University, Jonathan Grainger, Françoise Vitu, Eric Castet, the rest of the people at the LPC in Marseille, and Andrea Epifani.

We would like to thank SR Research for their generous support.

OpenSesame is powered by the following libraries (and many more). Credits go out to the respective authors: