Rose D, Summers J, 1995, "Duration illusions in a train of visual stimuli" Perception 24(10) 1177 – 1187
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Duration illusions in a train of visual stimuli
David Rose, Joanna Summers
Received 28 October 1994, in revised form 18 July 1995
Abstract. The first stimulus in a sequential train of identical flashes of light appears to last longer than those in the middle of the train. Four flashes (each 600 or 667 ms) were presented and the first was shortened until it appeared to have the same duration as that of the next. The duration of the first stimulus was found to be overestimated by about 50%. The illusion was unaffected by stimulus contrast, size, or interflash interval (between 100 and 600 ms). For some subjects, the last stimulus in the train also appeared to be about 50% longer than the penultimate flash. The results are discussed in terms of theories of how attention, arousal, and stimulus processing can affect duration perception. The mechanisms activated are peculiar to the visual system, since no similar illusion of duration was consistently experienced with a train of auditory tones.
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