Abstract

When a field of light (an inducing field) is extinguished, and a subsequent probe pulse is presented (5-msec duration, interstimulus interval of 80–320 msec), the single probe pulse appears to be a double flash. We measured the frequency of seeing this double-flash illusion when it was induced by high-contrast flickering fields. The illusion is dependent on inducer-field frequency, showing a major peak and, for some interstimulus intervals, subpeaks. There are notable interobserver differences in the frequency location of the peaks. We evaluated whether the results represented the transient response of a mechanism analogous to a single-harmonic oscillator. A second experiment compares the threshold illuminance for detecting the probe pulse with the illuminance above threshold required to see the double-flash illusion. The illuminance required for a double-flash threshold is high, being 7–20 times the illuminance required for pulse detection.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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