A tachistoscope (tə-′kis-tə-,skōp; Greek tachistos, very rapid, and skopein, to view) is a device that presents visual stimuli for a precisely controlled period of time, typically milliseconds. This device provides a fixation point for the subject to focus his or her gaze on. That fixation point is then very briefly (e.g., milliseconds) supplanted by an image chosen by the experimenter. The presentation of the image may be followed by the presentation of a visual mask, followed by the reappearance of the fixation point, and then the next stimulus and so on. Presentation is usually projected, but computer monitors have been used. Projection methods usually involve some form of slide projector with an aperture-timing device such as a camera shutter. Alternatively, timing of stimulus presentation can be computer controlled. Compared to computer monitor methods, projection display methods have the capability of presenting large or life-sized images.
References and Readings
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