The present research examined the effects of directed attention on speed of information transmission in the visual system. Ss judged the temporal order of 2 stimuli while directing attention toward 1 of the stimuli or away from both stimuli. Perception of temporal order was influenced by directed attention: Given equal onset times, the attended stimulus appeared to occur before the unattended stimulus. Direction of attention also influenced the perception of simultaneity. The findings support the notion that attention affects the speed of transmission of information in the visual system. To account for the pattern of temporal order and simultaneity judgments, a model is proposed in which the temporal profile of visual responses is affected by directed attention.

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Journal Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Citation
Stelmach, L.B. (Lew B.), & Herdman, C.M. (1991). Directed Attention and Perception of Temporal Order. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 17(2), 539–550.