Attention across time rather than space has been studied with a paradigm called the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm. In RSVP, a series of stimuli appear rapidly in time at the same point in visual space. Indeed, the stimuli may appear as fast as 10 items per second. The stimuli are usually letters or photographs. The task of the participant is to determine when a particular stimulus appears and to press a button or key as fast as possible after that stimulus occurs. Thus, the participant might be following a series of letters flashed 10 per second. The participant’s task is to press a response button every time the letter S occurs.
In this activity, you can manipulate some variables and see how that impacts your ability to pick a stimulus out of a rapid serial visual presentation.
To see the illustration in full screen, which is recommended, press the Full Screen button, which appears at the top of the page.
Below is a list of the ways that you can alter the illustration. The settings include the following:
Font Size: change the font size of the letters in the sequence.
Presentation Rate: how fast will the stimuli be presented (ms).
Target Color: is the target the same or a different (red) color from the rest of the letters.
Target Probability: the probability that a target will be in the sequence.a
Pressing this button restores the settings to their default values and changes the screen back to the sentence.