19 Jun 2009
The attraction of using computer displays for visual psychophysics is that they allow software specification of the stimulus. Programs to run experiments are often written in a low-level language (e.g. C or Pascal) to achieve full control of the hardware for precise stimulus display. Although these low-level languages provide power and flexibility, they are not conducive to rapid program development. Interpreted languages (e.g. BASIC, LISP, Mathematica, and Matlab) are abstracted from hardware details and provide friendlier development environments, but don't provide the hardware control needed for precise stimulus display. The Psychophysics Toolbox is a software package that adds this capability to the Matlab application on Macintosh and Windows computers.