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Talk2Tobii Toolbox

Create Contingent Eye-tracking Stimulus Presentation with Matlab and Psychtoolbox

Fani Deligianni


The talk2tobii toobox is an interface between the Tobii eye-tracker and Matlab. This software along with psychtoolbox can be used to create contingent eye-tracking applications and facilitate multi-modal acquisition of EEG, NIRS and eye-tracking data. It is based on multi-threaded technology to allow real-time eye-tracking and interactive stimulus presentation and it is implemented as a mex function in C++. Talk2tobii is largely inspired by the EyeLink Toolbox and it provides similar functionality for the Tobii eyetracker.

News: Talk2tobii works with the new generation of tobii eyetrackers (T120 - single setup computer).

Requirements: Currently, it runs only on mac-intel OSX machines and it requires the installation of Matlab and psychtoolbox. For more information on the computers' configuration download the user-guide.

License: This software is provided 'as is' and without any implied support or guarantee. By downloading it you agree to use it at your own risk and that the author shall not be held accountable for any direct, indirect and incidental losses or damages, which you may incur. Written permission is required for any academic or commercial exploitation of the toolbox. In addition, we would appreciate if you inform us about any publications that use Talk2Tobii.

Download: Beta Version: Release - November 2007
Beta Version: Release - November 2008 --Include major fixes and it works on both 1750 and x50 (also tested on T120).  (mexmaci file build on MacBookPro under OS 10.4) and (mexmaci file build on Leopard)
Beta Version: Release - March 2009 -- Include a new function: GET_SAMPLE_EXT. This function works similarly to GET_SAMPLE (see documentation below) but it returns four extra fields: 1) distance of the camera from the left eye, 2) distance of the camera from the right eye, 3) diameter of the pupil of the left eye, 4) diameter of the pupil of the right eye. (mexmaci file build on Leopard)

Documentation: You can also download the latest user's guide (Release: November 2007).

Demo Code: The GazeContingentDemo of Psychtoolbox has been modified to work with the talk2tobii and the tobii eye tracker. Download (includes talk2tobii.mexmaci Release-November 2007) and decompress the files to a folder. This demo contains matlab functions to draw the eyes on the screen and to calibrate tobii.

Demo Videos: Quick time movies that are accurate reconstruction in time of the contingent stimulus presentation: (a) Rabbits (36.3MB) (based on the GazeContingentDemo of Psychtoolbox), (b) Heffalumps (21MB)(combines contingent video and images presentation), (c) Heffalumps (21.3MB)(same as b) with superimposed the saccades and fixations)

Discussion Yahoo group: (original source code can be found here)

Related Software: Talk2Tobii has been integrated in T2T Package and SMART-T as a critical piece that allows their software to online access of gaze data.



This work is supported from James S. McDonnell Foundation. The grant aims to 'Combine methods for assessing cognitive development in human infants and to promote the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience'.

We thank Andrew T. Duchowski who has ported the Tet library in Linux and he kindly compiled it for intel-mac as well. His book on Eye Tracking Methodology was a valuable source.

We are also thankful to Tobii technology that gave us permission to access and modify the source code for Tet library. Note that Tobii technology does not officially support the talk2tobii toolbox.


Selected Publications

F. Deligianni, A. Senju, G. Gergely, and G. Csibra, Automated Gaze-Contingent Objects Elicit Orientation Following in 8-months-old infants, Developmental Psychology, 47:1499-1503, 2011. (pdf), (movie1~9.8MB, movie2~30.3MB, movie3~29.9MB)

S.V. Wass, K. Poraysk-Pomsta and M.H. Johnson, Training Attentional Control in Infancy, Current Biology, 21(18):1543-1547, 2011.

M. Shukla, J. Wen, K.S. White and R.N. Aslin, SMART-T: A system for novel fully automated anticipatory eye-tracking paradigms, Behavioral Research Methods, 43(2):384-398.



Talk2Tobii has been disseminated in several labs and it is currently used in large research projects: