Psychtoolbox beta updated


The Psychtoolbox v3.0.19.5 update “Eye to eye” was released on 17th November 2023. As usual, the complete development history can be found in our GitHub repository. The release tag is “”, with the full tree and commit logs under the URL:

This Psychtoolbox release was fully sponsored by Mathworks under the year 2023/2024 contract.

This is the last release built and tested with Matlab R2022b. Future development and user support will immediately switch to Matlab R2023b after this announcement, as we no longer have access to earlier Matlab releases, but Psychtoolbox is expected to continue to work just fine on older Matlab versions.


  • Eye gaze tracking support for OpenXR supported devices via PsychVRHMD(), ie. Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR) / Mixed Reality (MR) Headsets with built in eye trackers and suitable eye tracking runtimes!

    This release should support monocular “cyclops eye” eye gaze tracking on HMDs with monocular eye trackers and binocular eye trackers (typically reporting a fused gaze vector for noise reduction, based on sensor fusion between both eyes tracking data) on all hardware and OpenXR runtimes which support the XR_EXT_eye_gaze_interaction OpenXR extension. Data reporting is very limited due to the limited functionality provided by that extension: Only a binary confidence value (eye tracked / not tracked) and a 3D eye gaze vector aka gaze ray aka eye position and looking direction, usable for determining the looking direction in a 3D VR scene and hit testing with 3D scene geometry, as well as remapped 2D pixel coordinates of where the user is looking inside the Psychtoolbox onscreen window, both for monoscopic mode and stereoscopic mode. Demos which demonstrate 3D gaze are VRInputStuffTest.m if the optional withGazeTracking flag is set to 2, or just 2D position for flag setting 1. 2D gaze reporting is demonstrated - if the proper flags are set - by the following demos and tests: VRHMDemo.m - simple mono/stereo view reporting, GazeContingentDemo.m - monoscopic display, “foveated area” is moved via gaze, and VREyetrackingTest.m for extensive demo and testing.

    The API / how to use and description of features and limitations is in the help PsychVRHMD where one would expect VR/AR/MR/XR related functionality.

    Setup instructions can be found under help OpenXR.

    For VR HMDs with builtin eyetrackers from HTC, e.g., HTC Vive Pro Eye, on MS-Windows only, a second more feature rich eyetracking mechanism via use of HTC’s proprietary Windows-only SRanipal eyetracking runtime is used. It additionally to the above “cyclops eye” reporting allows for binocular eyetracking, more precise gaze sample timestamps, and estimates reported for “eye openess” aka how much are the eyelids open, and pupil diameter.

    Due to lack of other equipment, time and funding, this functionality was only tested under Microsoft Windows 10 with a rented HTC Vive Pro Eye HMD under SteamVR 1.26, and to a lesser extent, the new SteamVR 2.0.10 runtime from Valve. The monocular “cyclops” eye gaze tracking should work on any other HMD with OpenXR compliant eye tracking though, also on Linux. And binocular tracking should work on other HTC HMDs under Windows as well. Theory and practice, we will see…

    Performance and precision is reasonably good, although functionality wise there is a lot of room for improvement. Further funding would be needed to do that work. This OpenXR eye gaze tracking was sponsored by Mathworks as the main new sponsored improvement under the 2023/2024 contract. As so often though, the funding was insufficient to fully cover our costs up to this point, so future development of this eyetracking support will be mostly dependent on future funding or contract work from interested labs or users.

    Given that the HTC Vive Pro Eye used for developing and testing this support is only rented, and due to the lack of funding, we will likely have to give the HMD back before christmas, so no further debugging / refinement or related user support can be provided after that point in time, unless some labs or users contract and fund us for further development and support.

    Therefore I urge you to test this functionality early and give timely feedback, before it is too late for a cheap solution. That still means of course that while constructive feedback is appreciated, no free help will be provided for setup and first steps in general. That’s what our paid support is for.


  • OpenXR VR/AR/MR/XR eyetracking support. See above.

  • PlayMoviesDemo.m: Some performance optimizations for high fps HDR movie playback.

  • CreateResolutionPyramid(): Fix and deuglify MipMapDownsamplingShader.

  • Minor bug fixes, documentation updates and improvements.


  • Psychtoolbox was built and lightly tested against Matlab R2022b and Octave 6.4.

  • OpenXR VR/AR/MR/XR eyetracking support. See above.


  • Psychtoolbox was built and lightly tested against Matlab R2022b and Octave 7.3.

  • Additionally to OpenXR eyetracking, also SRAnipal binocular eyetracking on suitable HTC HMDs, as tested with the HTC Vive Pro Eye.


  • Psychtoolbox was built and lightly tested against Matlab R2022b and Octave 8.3 from HomeBrew. Octave 8.4 was also lightly tested and seems fine.