Skip to main content

Processing of tachistoscopic displays with controlled order of characters and spaces

Abstract

The task used was designed to force Ss consistently to process the letters of a tachistoscopic display in the same spatial order, if Ss are able to process the letters in a brief display serially and if Ss have enough voluntary control over the selection of a processing order to use the order chosen by the E. In the main series of experiments the set of slides shown in each session included slides having a blank space in some position in the linear array of letters. For control, no-blank slides, a sharp, monotonic decrease in the percentage of correct detections of a signal letter with distance of the signal letter from the focusing dot was obtained. An unexpected result from the slides having a blank space was that detection of the signal letter was considerably more accurate on the slides having a blank space immediately following the signal letter than on the control slides having no blank space or the slides having a blank space immediately before the signal letter in the processing order. In one experiment blank spaces were replaced by black rectangles with no substantial change in the pattern of results. The results from the slides having a blank space or a black rectangle were interpreted as indicating that the onset of processing the image of a letter was determined by the distance in the display from the focusing dot to the letter and that the duration of processing an image of a letter was determined by the distance in the display from the letter to the next letter in the processing order.

References

  • ESTES, W. K., & TAYLOR, H. A. A detection method and probabilistic models for assessing information processing from brief visual displays. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1964, 52, No.2, 446–454.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • ESTES, W. K., & TAYLOR, H. A. Visual detection in relation to display size and redundancy of critical elements. Perception & Psychophysics, 1966, 1, 9–16.

    Google Scholar 

  • ESTES, W. K., & WESSEL, D. L. Reaction time in relation to display size and correctness of response in forced-choice visual signal detection. Perception & Psychophysics, 1966, 1,369–373.

    Google Scholar 

  • FERGUSON, G. A. Statistical analysis in psychology and education. McGraw-Hill, 1959.

  • NEISSER, U.Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967.

    Google Scholar 

  • SPERLING, G. The information available in brief visual presentations. Psychological Monographs, 1960,74, No. II (Whole No. 498).

  • SPERLING, G. A model for visual memory tasks. Human Factors, 1963, 5 19–32.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • SPERLING, G. Successive approximations to a model for short term memory. Acta Psychologica, 1967, 27, 285–292.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

This report is based on a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD degree at Stanford University. I am indebted to John E. Holmgren for extensive help in programming and modifying the apparatus and to Stuart Miller for several data-analysis computer programs. I am especially grateful to Dr. William K. Estes for his encouragement and invaluable advice. The research reported here was done while the author held a predoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Shaw, P. Processing of tachistoscopic displays with controlled order of characters and spaces. Perception & Psychophysics 6, 257–266 (1969). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03210094

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03210094

Keywords

  • Detection Performance
  • Processing Order
  • Control Slide
  • Blank Space
  • Noise Letter