Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 475–486 | Cite as

Simple and contingent aftereffects of perceived duration in vision and audition

  • James T. Walker
  • Arthur L. Irion
  • Douglas G. Gordon


After repeated presentations of a long inspection tone (800 or 1,000 msec), a test tone of intermediate duration (600 msec) appeared shorter than it would otherwise appear. A short inspection tone (200 or 400 msec) tended to increase the apparent length of the intermediate test tone. Thus, a negative aftereffect of perceived auditory duration occurred, and a similar aftereffect occurred in the visual modality. These aftereffects, each involving a single sensory dimension, aresimple aftereffects. The following procedures producedcontingent aftereffects of perceived duration. A pair of lights, the first short and the second long, was presented repeatedly during an inspection period. When a pair of test lights of intermediate duration was then presented, the first member of the pair appeared longer in relation to the second. A similar aftereffect occurred in the auditory modality. In these latter aftereffects, the perceived duration of a test light or tone is contingent—dependent—on its temporal order, first or second, within a pair of test stimuli. An experiment designed to test the possibility of cross-modal transfer of contingent aftereffects between audition and vision found no significant cross-modal aftereffects.


Test Tone Inspection Condition Inspection Period McCollough Effect Figural Aftereffect 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • James T. Walker
    • 1
  • Arthur L. Irion
    • 1
  • Douglas G. Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MissouriSt. Louis

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