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An engine for real-time manipulation of visual stimuli for neuroscience, implemented via GPU shaders

Project description

Shady is a general-purpose visual stimulus toolbox filling a similar role to Psychtoolbox, VisionEgg, or PsychoPy. It is for programmers who work in neuroscience, especially vision science, and addresses their need for high timing precision, linearity, high dynamic range, and pixel-for-pixel accuracy.

It takes its name from its heavy reliance on a shader program to perform parallel pixel processing on a computer’s graphics processor. It was designed with an emphasis on performance robustness in multi-tasking applications under unforgiving conditions. For optimal timing performance, the CPU drawing management commands are carried out by a compiled binary engine.

See for full documentation and installation instructions.

If you use Shady in your work, please cite:

  • Hill NJ, Mooney SWJ, Ryklin EB & Prusky GT (2019). Shady: a Software Engine for Real-Time Visual Stimulus Manipulation. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 320: 79-86.

        author  = {Hill, N. Jeremy  and  Mooney, Scott W. J.  and  Ryklin, Edward B.  and  Prusky, Glen T.},
        title   = {{Shady}: a Software Engine for Real-Time Visual Stimulus Manipulation},
        journal = {Journal of Neuroscience Methods},
        volume  = {320},
        number  = {C},
        pages   = {79--86},
        month   = {May},
        year    = {2019},
        date    = {2019-05-15},
        doi     = {10.1016/j.jneumeth.2019.03.020},
        url     = {},

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