Illusory Correlation of Brightness Enhancement and Transients in the Nervous System

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Science  24 May 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4139, pp. 911-913
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4139.911


Short light flashes can appear brighter than longer flashes. This brightness enhancement has often been attributed to neural transients occurring shortly after stimulus onset. This attribution assumes an equivalence between the totality of the response to a stimulus of a given duration and the instantaneous response at a given time after stimulus onset. Recordings from Limulus photoreceptors indicate that this attribution is an example of illusory correlation.