Smart Phone, Smart Science: How the Use of Smartphones Can Revolutionize Research in Cognitive Science

Stephane Dufau*, Jon Andoni Dunabeitia, Carmen Moret-Tatay, Aileen McGonigal, David Peeters, F. -Xavier Alario, David A. Balota, Marc Brysbaert, Manuel Carreiras, Ludovic Ferrand, Maria Ktori, Manuel Perea, Kathy Rastle, Olivier Sasburg, Melvin J. Yap, Johannes C. Ziegler, Jonathan Grainger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Investigating human cognitive faculties such as language, attention, and memory most often relies on testing small and homogeneous groups of volunteers coming to research facilities where they are asked to participate in behavioral experiments. We show that this limitation and sampling bias can be overcome by using smartphone technology to collect data in cognitive science experiments from thousands of subjects from all over the world. This mass coordinated use of smartphones creates a novel and powerful scientific "instrument" that yields the data necessary to test universal theories of cognition. This increase in power represents a potential revolution in cognitive science.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24974
Number of pages3
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes



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