Sensitivity and decisional factors in the psychological refractory period

Ira H. Bernstein, Mark H. Clark, R. Randolph Blake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Three trained Ss responded to a pair of events presented at fixed interstimulus intervals (ISIs) of 33, 67, and 100 msec. Each event was the independent presence of a visual stimulus (S-P) or its absence (S-A), to which Ss were to respond or not, with a set for speed over accuracy. The probabilities of Sop occurrence [P(S)] to each of the events were varied. Pretrial verbal reports or behavioral hypotheses (BHs) werealso obtained. P(S), ISI, BH, and order (first vs second event) were all generally determinants of both RT to Sop and inhibition probability to S-A. However, when the RT data were corrected for inhibition probability, order was the only systematic effect that remained. The results were discussed in terms of approaches to the psychological refractory period derived from signal detection theory involving differential sensitivity as opposed to criterion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalPerception & Psychophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • General Psychology


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