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Experimental Control System


There are three monitors at each of the BIAC6 and BIAC6 research scanners. They are all flat panel LCD displays, and which audio/video signal they get depends on the setting specified by the Video Switch. Usually the monitor on the left is set to display the stimulus control computer's primary video screen, the monitor in the middle displays the stimulus control computer's secondary video screen, and the monitor on the right displays the secondary computer screen.

Having two video monitors connected to the main scanner PC computers (Mach at BIAC6 and Darwin at BIAC5) can be very useful. The most obvious advantage is that it allows you to show stimuli to the subjects on one screen, and simultaneously monitor behavior and physiology on the other. The dual display also allows the operator to type in parameters and comments that the subject can't see, simply by moving the interactive window to the 2nd monitor.

The downside of having multiple display monitors, multiple screen resolution options, and flexible video switching capabilities is that different users have different preferences and BIAC is not able to enforce a “standard” video display configuration. When you arrive at the scanner, there is no way to predict what video switch or monitor display settings the previous user left. All users, therefore, need to know how to set the display settings to their preferred configuration.

Changing Video Display

To change screen resolution or the dual monitor option in Windows do the following:
On Windows 7:

1) Right click on the Windows desktop and select "Screen Resolution" (not "NVIDIA...")
2) Click on the monitor "1" icon if there are 2 different icons
3) To change resolution:
       Adjust the "Resolution" setting if desired (do not click Ok or Apply)
       Click the "Advanced settings" option (this will pop up new window)
       Click "OK" in the advanced settings window
       Click the option to keep the new settings if the screen looks okay
       (If you don't choose "Advanced settings" the screen may go blank when you 
        change resolution; opening the Advanced settings window somehow prevents that bug).
4) To change from 1 display to 2 displays, select Multiple Displays -> "Extend..."
5) To change from 2 displays to 1 display, select Multiple Displays -> "Duplicate..."
6) Click "OK"
Note: If the screen goes blank while changing settings, press <ESC> or wait 15secs and it 
      should come back.

On Windows XP:

1) right click on the Windows desktop and select "Properties"
2) click on the "Settings" tab
3) click on the big monitor "1" icon
4) adjust the "Screen resolution" slider if desired 
5) click on the big monitor "2" icon
6) disable "Extend Windows desktop to this monitor" if you DO NOT want dual monitors
7) enable "Extend Windows desktop to this monitor" if you DO want dual monitors
8) if monitor 2 is enabled, adjust the "Screen resolution" slider 
  (monitor 2 should probably match monitor 1 settings.
9) Click "OK" (you may need to confirm if you changed resolution)

Changing video switch configuration

To change which audio/video signal goes to which monitors, projector, or 3D TV, see the
Video Switcher software page.

Warning -- Monitor display may look different than projector or TV display

Although the screen resolution of the projector and goggles inside the magnet room are determined by the video source (computer settings or DVD player), the physical properties of the display will be different for different devices. You should be aware, therefore, that the display characteristics of the monitor are not necessarily exactly the same as the projector and TV inside the scanner room. When designing stimulus paradigms, investigators should be aware of this and be sure to test their stimuli on both the control room monitors as well as the display being used inside the scanner.

See Also

biac/experimentalcontrol/monitors.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/23 18:43 (external edit)