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Effects of ISI and flash duration on the identification of briefly flashed stimuli

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

The identification accuracy of briefly flashed stimuli followed by an interstimulus interval (ISI) of variable length was compared to that obtained with longer flashes that prolonged the exposure of the stimulus throughout the ISI. The interval between the onset of the stimulus and the onset of the mask (stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA)) was the same in the two conditions. Consistent with a dependence of visual identification on SOA, the percentages of correct identification in the two conditions were approximately similar at all SOAs irrespective of the level of noise, stimulus familiarity, and stimulus complexity. However, departures from the onset-onset rule were also present. While the two conditions yielded virtually identical identification accuracy with an SOA of 80 ms, small but significant differences were found for shorter and longer intervals. Possible theoretical explanations of the results are presented.


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