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Effect of Luminance and Duration of Interstimulus Interval upon Human Reaction Time

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Abstract

Visual reaction times were recorded for paired flashes varying in luminance and duration of interstimulus interval, for three well-trained observers. The data indicated that there is a rough approximation to Bloch’s law at short flash separations but a greater departure from this relationship as flash separation increases. There is a gradual decrease over time, of the amount of flash energy from the second flash integrated to effect the behavioral response. The upper limit of integration for the low-luminance value was estimated to lie between 120 and 160 ms. The intensity–time relation found with the limits of this study was best described by a parabolic function of the form Rt = axb+c, where a and c are constants and b is a slope constant. The reaction time becomes longer as the duration of interstimulus interval increases. The well-established luminance function was found, where reaction time becomes shorter to increases of luminance.

© 1972 Optical Society of America

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