Comparison Between PsychToolBox Matlab Package and Cognition

The process of conducting cognitive experiments, making psychological research and running behavioral experiments online has been mathematically transformed by various online experimentation platforms like Cognition and software packages like the PsychToolBox Matlab Package. To make an informed decision on which to choose, here is a detailed comparison:


While PsychToolBox Matlab Package is a free tool, the Matlab software itself can not be regarded as inexpensive, meaning that additional costs may be incurred. Conversely, Cognition, which is a cloud-based platform, offers a range of cost-effective pricing plans. Some are even free, which provides financial advantages for researchers operating on a tight budget.

Learning Curve

The PsychToolBox Matlab Package will inevitably have a steep learning curve, primarily for those inexperienced in programming. This platform necessitates an understanding of Matlab programming language, which may be challenging to acquire. In comparison, Cognition provides a user-friendly environment where you can effortlessly design and implement your experiments, requiring less technical knowledge. The introduction of jspsych can simplify the usage of code, foster user legibility, and diminish the learning curve.


When designing and running experiments, flexibility is critical. PsychToolBox Matlab Package offers flexibility, but it's often confined to the limitations of the Matlab environment. However, with Cognition, you get a wide variety of template experiments, alongside provisions to customize those templates to suit your experimental design.


PsychToolBox Matlab Package has been around for a while, so it boasts of an established community. On the other hand, Cognition, although newer, has a growing and active community of users who readily share knowledge and support each other. It also offers active customer service, which can address and solve any issues you might face promptly. In summary, both the PsychToolBox Matlab Package and Cognition come with their unique strengths. However, given the comparative ease of use, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and growing community of Cognition, it might be an advantageous choice for researchers who are new to remote studies and online experiments, especially those that hinge on advanced technologies like jspsych. Whether you are a seasoned researcher or a novice, Cognition is worth giving a try. Visit the for more information.

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