• Background
  • Instructions
  • Illustration
  • Quiz


If we are following letters and responding to S, there might be a lag of 4 letters between one S and the next, or there might be a lag of 10 letters between one S and the next target (typically another letter). One question we can ask is whether having just seen a target affects the ability to detect the next target. It turns that out it does, if the second stimulus occurs within 500 ms (half a second) of the first stimulus. This phenomenon is called attentional blink, which refers to the tendency to miss the second appearance of a target in an RSVP task if it is too close.

Finally, when the second target is the identical stimulus as the first target (e.g., S-S) and occurs right after the first target, some participants will fail to see it at all. This phenomenon is called repetition blindness.

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.


Full Screen Mode

To see the illustration in full screen, which is recommended, press the Full Screen button, which appears at the top of the page.

Illustration Tab


Below is a list of the ways that you can alter the illustration. The settings include the following:

Targets: the first target is always an 'S'. The second target can be either an 'S', S-S, or a 'T', S-T
Font Size: change the font size of the letters in the sequence.
Presentation Rate: how fast will the stimuli be presented (ms).
First Target Color: is the first target the same or a different (red) color from the rest of the letters. The scond target is always the same color as the rest of the letters.
Second Target Probability: the probability that there will be a second target will be in the sequence.


Pressing this button restores the settings to their default values and changes the screen back to the sentence.