August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
Post-detection at 13 ms/picture in RSVP
Author Affiliations
  • Mary C Potter
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Brad Wyble
    Syracuse University
  • Emily McCourt
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 118. doi:
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      Mary C Potter, Brad Wyble, Emily McCourt; Post-detection at 13 ms/picture in RSVP. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):118. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Last year we reported preliminary results (since replicated) showing above-chance detection of a picture in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) on the basis of a verbal title given just before the sequence (e.g., cut up fruit), at a duration as short as 13 ms/picture. Here we report that viewers can recognize that they have just seen such a target, when the verbal title is given directly after the sequence (post-detection). We presented color photographs of a wide variety of scenes at rates of 80, 53, 27, and 13 ms/picture in six-picture RSVP sequences; the sixth picture functioned as a mask and was never the target. All pictures were new to the participants and none were repeated in the experiment. Performance with the post-cue was significantly above chance at all durations. Whether or not the participant reported detection of the target, each target trial was followed by a forced choice test between two pictures, both of which matched the target title (but only one had been in the sequence). With this more severe test, performance was significantly above chance at all presentation durations except 13 ms. Other studies indicate that memory for such rapidly presented pictures declines quickly if the target name is delayed. This work suggests that specific object and gist identities can be activated transiently even at extremely high rates of presentation, presumably by feed-forward processing, even when the participant does not know which picture is the target until after the sequence. That is, advance tuning is not necessary for perception, even at these high rates.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012


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