Long-Term Traces of Tachistoscopic Word Perception

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Threshold durations were determined by the Method of Limits for a series of 8-letter nonsense words. For experimental Os the threshold for a critical word was obtained a second time after threshold determinations for 0, 1, 2, 4, or 8 different filler-words had intervened. For control Os no word was repeated in the series. Instructions introduced a set against seeing any word again after its threshold had been obtained the first time. The second threshold for a critical word was lower than the first for all experimental conditions; this effect could not be attributed to practice. The greatest effect occurred when 2 filler-words intervened. The positive effect after 8 words had intervened indicates that the trace was still present after 7 min. Greater threshold decrements for special control groups, for whom the interpolated activity was unrelated to the experimental task, indicate a consolidation effect on the trace under those conditions.

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