Journal of Neurophysiology

High-performance execution of psychophysical tasks with complex visual stimuli in MATLAB

Wael F. Asaad, Navaneethan Santhanam, Steven McClellan, David J. Freedman


Behavioral, psychological, and physiological experiments often require the ability to present sensory stimuli, monitor and record subjects' responses, interface with a wide range of devices, and precisely control the timing of events within a behavioral task. Here, we describe our recent progress developing an accessible and full-featured software system for controlling such studies using the MATLAB environment. Compared with earlier reports on this software, key new features have been implemented to allow the presentation of more complex visual stimuli, increase temporal precision, and enhance user interaction. These features greatly improve the performance of the system and broaden its applicability to a wider range of possible experiments. This report describes these new features and improvements, current limitations, and quantifies the performance of the system in a real-world experimental setting.

  • behavior
  • methodology
  • neurophysiology
  • psychophysics
  • vision
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