A consumer-grade LCD monitor for precise visual stimulation
Because they were used for decades to present visual stimuli in psychophysical and psychophysiological studies, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) used to be the gold standard for stimulus presentation in vision research. Recently, as CRTs have become increasingly rare in the market, researchers have started using various types of liquid-crystal display (LCD) monitors as a replacement for CRTs. However, LCDs are typically not cost-effective when used in vision research and often cannot reach the full capacity of a high refresh rate. In this study we measured the temporal and spatial characteristics of a consumer-grade LCD, and the results suggested that a consumer-grade LCD can successfully meet all the technical demands in vision research. The tested LCD, working in a flash style like that of CRTs, demonstrated perfect consistency for initial latencies across locations, yet showed poor spatial uniformity and sluggishness in reaching the requested luminance within the first frame. After these drawbacks were addressed through software corrections, the candidate monitor showed performance comparable or superior to that of CRTs in terms of both spatial and temporal homogeneity. The proposed solution can be used as a replacement for CRTs in vision research.
KeywordsVision research Display CRT LCD Consumer-grade
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