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Behavioral experiments (with no neural recordings)


  • For more information about filename elements (for example, entities, suffixes, extensions), follow the links embedded in the filename template.

  • Filename entities or directories between square brackets (for example, [_ses-<label>]) are OPTIONAL.

  • Some entities may only allow specific values, in which case those values are listed in <>, separated by |.

  • _<suffix> means that there are several (>6) valid suffixes for this filename pattern.

  • .<extension> means that there are several (>6) valid extensions for this file type.

  • [.gz] means that both the unzipped and gzipped versions of the extension are valid.

In addition to logs from behavioral experiments performed alongside imaging data acquisitions, one can also include data from experiments performed with no neural recordings. The results of those experiments can be stored in the beh directory using the same formats for event timing (_events.tsv), metadata (_events.json), physiological (_physio.tsv.gz, _physio.json) and other continuous recordings (_stim.tsv.gz, _stim.json) as for tasks performed during MRI, electrophysiological or other neural recordings. Additionally, events files that do not include the mandatory onset and duration columns can still be included, but should be labeled _beh.tsv rather than _events.tsv.

Each task has a unique label that MUST only consist of letters and/or numbers (other characters, including spaces and underscores, are not allowed) with the task-<label> entity. Those labels MUST be consistent across subjects and sessions.

The OPTIONAL acq-<label> entity corresponds to a custom label to distinguish different conditions present during multiple runs of the same task. For example, if a study includes runs of an n-back task, with deep brain stimulation turned on or off, the data files may be labelled sub-01_task-nback_acq-dbson_beh.tsv and sub-01_task-nback_acq-dbsoff_beh.tsv.

In addition to the metadata that is either:

  • RECOMMENDED for sidecar JSON files for tabular data, or

  • REQUIRED for some data that can be found in the beh directory (for example SamplingFrequency and StartTime for *_<physio|stim>.tsv.gz files),

it is RECOMMENDED to add the following metadata to the JSON files of this directory:

Key name Requirement Level Data type Description
TaskName RECOMMENDED string Name of the task. No two tasks should have the same name. The task label included in the file name is derived from this "TaskName" field by removing all non-alphanumeric characters (that is, all except those matching [0-9a-zA-Z]). For example "TaskName" "faces n-back" will correspond to task label facesnback.
Instructions RECOMMENDED string Text of the instructions given to participants before the recording.
TaskDescription RECOMMENDED string Longer description of the task.
CogAtlasID RECOMMENDED string URI of the corresponding Cognitive Atlas Task term.
CogPOID RECOMMENDED string URI of the corresponding CogPO term.
InstitutionName RECOMMENDED string The name of the institution in charge of the equipment that produced the measurements.
InstitutionAddress RECOMMENDED string The address of the institution in charge of the equipment that produced the measurements.
InstitutionalDepartmentName RECOMMENDED string The department in the institution in charge of the equipment that produced the measurements.

Example of the content of a _beh.tsv and its accompanying _beh.json sidecar file:

trial   response    response_time   stim_file
congruent   red 1.435   images/word-red_color-red.jpg
incongruent red 1.739   images/word-red_color-blue.jpg

In the accompanying JSON sidecar, the trial column might be documented as follows:

   "TaskName": "Stroop",
   "trial": {
      "LongName": "Trial name",
      "Description": "Indicator of the type of trial",
      "Levels": {
         "congruent": "Word and font color match.",
         "incongruent": "Word and font color do not match."