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Cognitive Science
2021 Project Proposal

Using Online Games to Study Human Cognition

Josh de Leeuw (Cognitive Science)

Project Type -B - Flexible:  It will be in-person if we are allowed to have URSI students on campus, but it will become a remote project if not.

This project will continue design and development work for The Brain Game Lab ( The Brain Game Lab is an online research platform to study human cognition. On the website, groups of people can play a series of social games together. These games are designed to assess different aspects of cognition, such as attention, perception, memory, and decision making. By randomizing different aspects of the games and seeing how players perform, we can run large-scale controlled experiments.

As an URSI student you will contribute to the project in at least one of the following ways:

(1) Game/experiment design and development, using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS as the core technologies.

(2) App development, focusing on building the website infrastructure to support games. This involves working with React ( and Firebase (

(3) User Experience (UX) research and design.

Prerequisites: Requirements depend on the way that you imagine yourself contributing. For game/experiment design and development, experience with programming and/or experience with experimental design are valuable skills. For app development, experience with JavaScript and React (or the ability to quickly learn these technologies) is crucial. For UX research/design, experience in design work and experimental methods will be very useful.

How should students express interest in this project?  I will contact students for interviews after applications are submitted. When you submit an application, please describe what kind(s) of work you imagine yourself doing on the project (e.g., game design vs. app development vs. UX). If you have any relevant prior experiences or projects, please share those in the application. Seeing something you've done, even if it is a small project, is valuable.

This is an 8-week project running from June 7 – July 31