Perceived duration of expected and unexpected stimuli

  • Ulrich R
  • Nitschke J
  • Rammsayer T
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Three experiments assessed whether perceived stimulus duration depends on whether participants process an expected or an unexpected visual stimulus. Participants compared the duration of a constant stan-dard stimulus with a variable comparison stimulus. Changes in expectancy were induced by presenting one type of comparison more frequently than another type. Experiment 1 used standard durations of 100 and 400 ms, and Experiments 2 and 3 durations of 400 and 800 ms. Stimulus frequency did not affect perceived duration in Experiment 1. In Experiments 2 and 3, however, frequent comparisons were perceived as shorter than infrequent ones, and discrimination per-formance was better for infrequent comparisons. Over-all, this study supports the notion that infrequent stimuli increase the speed of an internal pacemaker

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  • Rolf Ulrich

  • Judith Nitschke

  • Thomas Rammsayer

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