To assess the daily distribution of temporal resolution in visual detection, binocular double-pulse resolution (DPR) was measured over a 24 h period in six healthy subjects. DPR showed a significant daily variation with an amplitude for the foveal stimulus of up to 60%. Like in other vigilance-dependent daily rhythms, optimal performance occurred around midday. The DPR measurements described here are an excellent method for assessment of vigilance and mental alertness (e.g. in pharmacological studies). They show strong time-of-day differences, are highly reliable across successive measurements, and can be fully automated. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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