Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The validity and consistency of continuous joystick response in perceptual decision-making

Szul, Maciej J, Bompas, Aline ORCID:, Sumner, Petroc ORCID: and Zhang, Jiaxiang ORCID: 2020. The validity and consistency of continuous joystick response in perceptual decision-making. Behavior Research Methods 52 , pp. 681-693. 10.3758/s13428-019-01269-3

[thumbnail of Zhang. The]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


A computer joystick is an efficient and cost-effective response device for recording continuous movements in psychological experiments. Movement trajectories and other measures from continuous responses have expanded the insights gained from discrete responses (e.g., button presses) by providing unique information about how cognitive processes unfold over time. However, few studies have evaluated the validity of joystick responses with reference to conventional key presses, and how response modality can affect cognitive processes. Here we systematically compared human participants’ behavioral performance of perceptual decision-making when they responded with either joystick movements or key presses in a four-alternative motion discrimination task. We found evidence that the response modality did not affect raw behavioral measures, including decision accuracy and mean response time, at the group level. Furthermore, to compare the underlying decision processes between the two response modalities, we fitted a drift-diffusion model of decision-making to individual participants’ behavioral data. Bayesian analyses of the model parameters showed no evidence that switching from key presses to continuous joystick movements modulated the decision-making process. These results supported continuous joystick actions as a valid apparatus for continuous movements, although we highlight the need for caution when conducting experiments with continuous movement responses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1554-351X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 4 June 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 18:45

Citation Data

Cited 1 time in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics