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Percept Psychophys. 2008 Nov;70(8):1504-14. doi: 10.3758/PP.70.8.1504.

Temporal preparation improves temporal resolution: evidence from constant foreperiods.

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Psychologisches Institut, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


Recent research shows that temporal preparation within a constant foreperiod design improves the spatial resolution of visual perception. The present experiments were designed to investigate whether similar benefits of temporal preparation can be observed in a task that requires high temporal resolution. In three experiments, we assessed the effect of temporal preparation on temporal order judgments (TOJs). In Experiment 1, short foreperiods facilitated TOJ for two spatially adjacent dots. This finding was replicated in Experiment 2, in which the temporal order of two spatially overlapping stimuli ("+" and "x") had to be discriminated. Experiment 3 investigated the time course of temporal preparation by extending these findings to a wide range of different foreperiod durations. The present findings corroborate recent evidence for a perceptual locus of temporal preparation. Most importantly, they show that temporal preparation within a constant foreperiod design improves the temporal resolution of visual perception, independently of whether TOJ requires a decision about the location or about the identity of the target stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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