Foreperiod Length, but Not Memory, Affects Human Reaction Time in a Precued, Delayed Response

in Motor Control
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The effect of foreperiod length on reaction time in memorized (MM) and nonmemorized (NM), precued, delayed responses was investigated. Six subjects participated in one long and one short foreperiod schedule testing session. An aiming task, using elbow supination/pronation, in response to a visual stimulus was employed. In the MM condition, target spatial information was available for a fraction of the foreperiod duration. In the NM condition, target information was available continuously until the subject attained the target position. Subjects responded with a significantly longer latency in the long foreperiod schedule. Within each foreperiod schedule, the shortest foreperiod resulted in significantly longer reaction time. However, the absolute value of foreperiod did not have a major effect on reaction time latency. Memorization and nonmemorization conditions did not affect reaction time.

The authors are with the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. A.A. Mohagheghi and J.G. Anson are with the School of Physical Education and Neuroscience Research Centre. B.I Hyland and L. Parr-Brownlie are with the Department of Physiology, School of Medicine. J.R. Wickens is with the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology and the Neuroscience Research Centre. Direct correspondence to J.G. Anson, School of Physical Education, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.