Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 60, Issue 8, pp 1285-1304

First online:

Temporal inhibition in character identification

  • Thomas A. BuseyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Indiana University Email author 


Models of information processing tasks such as character identification often do not consider the nature of the initial sensory representation from which task-relevant information is extracted. An important component of this representation is temporal inhibition, in which the response to a stimulus may inhibit, or in some cases facilitate, processing of subsequent stimuli. Three experiments demonstrate the existence of temporal inhibitory processes in information processing tasks such as character identification and digit recall. An existing information processing model is extended to account for these effects, based in part on models from the detection literature. These experiments also discriminate between candidate neural mechanisms of the temporal inhibition. Implications for the transient deficit theory of dyslexia are discussed.