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Thomas A. Carlson, Hinze Hogendoorn, Frans A. J. Verstraten; The speed of visual attention: What time is it?. Journal of Vision 2006;6(12):6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/6.12.6.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The time course of visual attention has been studied using a number of experimental designs. Here, we present a refined version of a technique first used by Wundt more than a century ago and demonstrate it as an effective method to measure the speed of visual attention. The method generates precise and robust data quickly and is flexible enough to be adapted into a variety of established paradigms. In the experiment, participants view an array of moving clocks and report the time on a target clock, which was indicated by a peripheral or central cue. We found latencies of around 140 ms when the target was cued peripherally and latencies of around 240 ms when the target was cued centrally. These values are in good agreement with previous literature and support the validity of the technique as a way to measure the speed of visual attention.
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