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Human Real Time Perception in Noise.
HARRY G ARMSTRONG AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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A novel device, the Real Time Perception Analyzer RTPA, has been developed to measure the perception of real time as well as simple and choice reaction time under microgravic conditions on board the space shuttle. This study examined only real time perception reaction times were not measured. The RTPA real time perception task produces a target dot that moves from left-to-right across a narrow, horizontal light bar. A vertical marker is positioned almost two inches beyond the right end of the light bar. The subjects task is to push a switch when it is estimated that the target dot has moved beyond the end of the light bar, a region where the dot is no longer visible, and reached the vertical marker. Sixteen subjects performed the time perception task under various conditions of quiet and noise exposure. Errors consisted of underestimations or overestimations of the actual time intervals which ranged from 1.75 to 14.0 seconds. Results indicate that subjects overestimated time intervals and that the greatest errors occurred for the shortest time intervals and in noises that changed during the task. Also, female subject estimates of time intervals were consistently shorter than those of the male subjects. These findings are compared to earlier research on time estimation and verify that the RTPA provides a reliable and sensitive measure of the perception of real time in noise. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE