June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Parallel processing is much harder for temporal duration than for spatial length
Author Affiliations
  • Michael J. Morgan
    The Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Vision Sciences, City University London|
  • Enrico Giora
    Department of General Psychology, Padua University
  • Joshua A. Solomon
    The Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Vision Sciences, City University London
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 1012. doi:10.1167/6.6.1012
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      Michael J. Morgan, Enrico Giora, Joshua A. Solomon; Parallel processing is much harder for temporal duration than for spatial length. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):1012. doi: 10.1167/6.6.1012.

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Abstract

Consider a set of n (0 < n < 9) horizontally-oriented lines in the x−y plane, all of the same standard length (w), except for an uncued target, in a random y position, that is shorter or longer (w +/− Δw). The lines have random offsets along the x axis, sampled from a uniform distribution of width w. Spacing on the y axis is fixed. Without a postmask, there appears to be no capacity limit for deciding whether the target is larger or smaller than the standard; accuracy can be well-modelled by the ‘max’ rule of signal detection theory. Now re-label the x axis as t, so that the horizontal lines represent durations of the stimuli rather than length in space. The standard duration was 2 sec. Accuracy with n=1 was comparable to that of the spatial task, when expressed as a Weber Fraction. However, with multiple stimuli, the task was very hard indeed. Even with n=2, predictions of the max rule fail dramatically. We conclude that observers have access to only a single clock for timing visual stimuli, which is started by a shift of attention, and which stops when attention shifts from the stimulus. A multi-resolution model of timing is proposed to account for the linear increase in the threshold Δw with w.

Morgan, M. J. Giora, E. Solomon, J. A. (2006). Parallel processing is much harder for temporal duration than for spatial length [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):1012, 1012a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/1012/, doi:10.1167/6.6.1012. [CrossRef]
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