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Stimulus Library

collage of computer generated images used in stimulus library


The Quest Stimulus Library is an open repository and registry of experimental stimuli to be used by researchers working both with primates (human and non-human, of all ages) and artificial subjects. It is supported by the MIT Quest for Intelligence and Lookit. For their research, cognitive scientists have long relied upon auditory and visual stimuli, which require significant time and effort to create and are often used in only one experiment. In response to the pandemic, many researchers continued such experiments, using online platforms and digital files. This Library of media files — images, audio, video, text— and corresponding metadata allows researchers to share content they’ve created and discover content created by others.

The library can be searched by media type, by age of target audience, and by keywords like “3D” or “interactions”. Each file includes an abstract of past use and links to publications detailing experiments in which the stimuli has been used. This is a remarkable resource for the cognitive research community, which not only reduces the time and effort to set up experiments but allows researchers to collaborate and build on each other’s labor. Importantly, it also permits the same stimuli to be presented to both biological and artificial subjects, facilitating comparisons between the two.

The library can be accessed at


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