Tracking moving objects on video in psychological studies



The article discusses the possibilities of using OpenCV and dlib libraries to track the position of specified objects on the video image and to track a set of landmark points of the human face. It is shown that these problems can be effectively solved with the help of compact programs in Python. The Python language is recommended to the attention of research psychologists as an instrument for analyzing video images and constructing complex experiments.

General Information

Keywords: object tracking, face detection, Python, OpenCV, dlib

Journal rubric: Cognitive Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was carried out within the framework of the state project of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, project 25.3471.2017/PC “Identification of significant components of the cognitive experience of a specialist to their capturing and transfer”.

For citation: Zhegallo A.V. Tracking moving objects on video in psychological studies. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2019. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 5–11. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2019120401. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Barabanshchikov V.A., Zhegallo A.V., Hoze E.G., Solomonova A.V., Neverbal’nye prediktory ocenok dostovernosti/nedostovernosti soobshchaemoj informacii [Nonverbal predictors of assessments of the reliability/unreliability of reported information] Eksperimental’naya psihologiya [Experimental Psychology], 2018 Vol. 11. no 4. pp. 94—106. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.). doi:10.17759/exppsy.2018110408
  2. Zhegallo A.V. Tekhnologii ajtrekinga v zadachah sohraneniya i peredachi kognitivnogo opyta [Eyetracking technology in the task of preservation and transmission of the cognitive experience] Eksperimental’naya psihologiya [Experimental Psychology], 2018. Vol. 11. no. 4. pp. 135—141. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.). doi:10.17759/exppsy.2018110412
  3. McKinney Wes. Python i analiz dannyh [Python and data analysis] Trans. from Engl. Silkin A.A. Moscow, DMK Press, 2015 (In Russ.).
  4. Nosulenko V.N., Samoilenko E.S. Polipozicionnoe nablyudenie [Polypositional observation] // Tekhnologii sohraneniya i vosproizvedeniya kognitivnogo opyta [Technologies of preservation and reproduction of cognitive experience] ed. by Nosulenko V.N. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN, 2016. pp. 261—278. (In Russ.).
  5. Tovuu N.O., Н.О., Mongush A.M., Kharitonov A.N., Ananieva K.I. Basul I.A. Reshenie graficheskoj zadachi v tradicionnoj i tekhnogennoj kommunikativno-kognitivnyh sredah [Solving of graphic task in traditional and technogenic communicative and cognitive environments] // Evolyucionnaya i sravnitel’naya psihologiya v Rossii. Teoriya i praktika issledovanij. [Evolutionary and comparative psychology in Russia. Theory and practice of research] Moscow, Cogito-Center, 2017. pp. 312—321. (In Russ.).
  6. Dlib C++ Library, 2019 // URL: (дата обращения: 25.11.2019).
  7. Jose I. Facial mapping (landmarks) with Dlib + python, 2018 // URL: facial-mapping-landmarks-with-dlib-python-160abcf7d672 (date of issue: 25.11.2019).
  8. Lukezic A., Voj’ir T., Cehovin Zajc L., Matas J., Kristan M. Discriminative correlation filter tracker with channel and spatial reliability // International Journal of Computer Vision, 2018. s11263-017-1061-3
  9. Mallick S. Object Tracking using OpenCV, 2017 // URL: (date of issue: 25.11.2019).
  10. OpenCV Online Documentation, 2019 // OpenCV: OpenCV modules. URL: master/index.html (date of issue: 25.11.2019)
  11. OpenCV Tracking API, 2019 // OpenCV: Tracking API. URL: group__tracking.html (date of issue: 25.11.2019).
  12. Dalmaijer, E.S. Python for Experimental Psychologists. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge (part of Taylor and Francis Group), 2016

Information About the Authors

Alexander V. Zhegallo, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of Systems Research of the Psyche, Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Researcher at the Center for Experimental Psychology of MSUPE, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 1120
Previous month: 10
Current month: 11


Total: 1026
Previous month: 20
Current month: 12