Visual sustained attention: image degradation produces rapid sensitivity decrement over time

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  15 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4594, pp. 327-329
DOI: 10.1126/science.6836276


Perceptual sensitivity to a visual target presented in a random continuous sequence of targets and nontargets decreased rapidly over time when stimuli were highly degraded visually but not when moderately degraded or undegraded. Large declines in sensitivity, independent of changes in response criterion, were found after only 5 minutes of observation. These rapid decrements of sensitivity to degraded targets seem to result from demands on the limited capacity of visual attention.