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Dangerous liquids: Temporal properties of modern LCD monitors and implications for vision science experiments


Tanner,  T
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Elze, T., & Tanner, T. (2011). Dangerous liquids: Temporal properties of modern LCD monitors and implications for vision science experiments. Poster presented at 34th European Conference on Visual Perception, Toulouse, France.

In most areas of vision science, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) have widely replaced the long dominating cathode ray tube (CRT) technology. In recent years, however, LCD panels have been repeatedly analyzed and their use been criticized with reference to vision science applications. We measured and analyzed the photometric output of eleven contemporary LCD monitors. Our results show that the specifications given by the manufacturers are partially misleading and mostly insufficient for appropriate display selection for many vision science related tasks. In recent years, novel display technologies have been introduced to improve fast luminance transitions or to optimize the appearance of moving objects. While we found that the luminance transition times of modern LCD monitors are considerably faster than those of earlier LCD generations, these novel technologies may be accompanied by side effects relevant to vision research. Furthermore, we demonstrate a number of intriguing technical deficiencies which may severely impair visual experiments. Several undesired und uncontrolled components of the photometric output as well as unreliable onsets and offsets of visual stimuli require ample measurements prior to applications in all areas of vision science where either precise timing or the knowledge of the exact shape of the photometric output signal matters.