Does requiring participants to produce the foreperiod duration eliminate the effect of foreperiod length on a subsequent RT task?

  • Craig Leth-Steensen
  • Adam Chitty


It is commonly found that shorter foreperiod durations yield faster RTs than longer foreperiod durations. This finding has been attributed to decreased time uncertainty for shorter foreperiods. In the present study, time uncertainty effects were eliminated by having the participants produce the foreperiod durations. Twenty psychology students participated in an experiment involving an even-odd digit RT task. Two foreperiod durations of either 2- or 8-sec in length were used, which the participants were asked to estimate themselves. Immediately following the production of these durations, the digit task was presented. The results of this experiment showed that RT to the digit task was still significantly faster in the 2-sec temporal production blocks than in the 8-sec temporal production blocks. As this RT difference between the 2- and 8-sec ‘foreperiod’ durations cannot be attributed to time uncertainty, these results call into question the validity of time uncertainty as an explanation for the presence of fixed foreperiod effects more generally.

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