MouseTracker is a freely available, user-friendly software package that allows researchers to record and analyze hand movements traveling toward potential responses on the screen (via the x, y coordinates of the computer mouse). By looking at the dynamics of how participants' hand movements settle into a response alternative—and how they may be partially pulled toward other alternatives—researchers glean valuable information about real-time cognitive processing. MouseTracker opens up a single reaction time into a continuous stream of rich cognitive output.
MouseTracker has impressive temporal resolution, comparable to eye-tracking and event-related brain potential (ERP) measures. Experiments can incorporate images, letter strings, sounds, and videos. Once recorded, mouse trajectories can be visualized, averaged, and explored, and measures of attraction/curvature, complexity, velocity, and acceleration can be computed. Precise characterizations of mouse trajectories' temporal and spatial dynamics are available, and these can shed light on a variety of important empirical questions across psychology, cognitive science, and beyond. (More)