Calibration of a color monitor for visual psychophysics

Andrew B. Metha, Algis J. Vingrys, David R. Badcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


It has become common for stimuli used in visual psychophysical experiments to be presented on high-resolution color cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) such as the Barco CDCT 6551. These enable a flexibility of color, spatial-frequency content, temporal-frequency content, duration, size, and position that is not provided by most other media. CRTs are, however, not perfect; they suffer from the effects of temporal instability, spatial variability, lack of phosphor constancy, gun interdependence, and gun nonlinearity. This paper describes methods of assessing these aspects of monitor performance with respect to how significant each may be in psychometric terms. Although every application of CRT use in visual psychophysics is different, some general rules can be formulated to help ensure that unwanted effects are kept to a minimum. For the CRT used in this study (Barco CDCT 6551), a warm-up time of 30-45 min is necessary before chromatic and luminous stability ensues. Restriction of individual gun outputs to within 10%-90% of the possible range ensures that the effects of gun interdependence and lack of phosphor constancy are negligible. Calibration methods dealing with the linearization of gun output are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1993
Externally publishedYes


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