Some exposure duration effects in simple reaction time

Ira H. Bernstein, D. Gregory Futch, D. L. Schurman

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7 Scopus citations


Studied simple reaction time (RT) as a function of exposure duration in 3 successive conditions using 4 trained university students: (a) foveal stimulation-target luminance constant, (b) nonfoveal stimulation-target luminance constant, and (c) foveal stimulation-target luminance randomly but slightly varying. Evidence was found for a critical duration beyond which RT increased with exposure duration in both foveal conditions. Within the critical duration, RT tended to obey Bloch's Law (intensity-time reciprocity). Increase in RT past the critical duration is analogous to the Broca-Sulzer effect noted in brightness and detection studies. Critical duration was greater when luminance was varied rather than held constant. With nonfoveal stimulation, RT was a monotonic function of exposure duration, i.e., no critical duration nor Broca-Sulzer effect was obtained. However, the failure to obtain the latter 2 effects may have been an artifact of the greater spatial uncertainty in the nonfoveal condition and not retinal locus per se. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1973


  • exposure duration effects, simple reaction time, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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