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Reduction of stimulus visibility compresses apparent time intervals


The neural mechanisms underlying visual estimation of subsecond durations remain unknown, but perisaccadic underestimation of interflash intervals may provide a clue as to the nature of these mechanisms. Here we found that simply reducing the flash visibility, particularly the visibility of transient signals, induced similar time underestimation by human observers. Our results suggest that weak transient responses fail to trigger the proper detection of temporal asynchrony, leading to increased perception of simultaneity and apparent time compression.

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Figure 1: Underestimation of interflash intervals induced by reduction in flash visibility and transient component.

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M.T. is supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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Correspondence to Masahiko Terao.

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Terao, M., Watanabe, J., Yagi, A. et al. Reduction of stimulus visibility compresses apparent time intervals. Nat Neurosci 11, 541–542 (2008).

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