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The temporal visual oddball effect is not caused by repetition suppression

Suarels, B. W., Yarrow, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0666-2163, Lipp, O. V. & Arnold, D. H. (2023). The temporal visual oddball effect is not caused by repetition suppression. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 85(6), pp. 1755-1760. doi: 10.3758/s13414-023-02730-4


The oddball paradigm is commonly used to investigate human time perception. Trains of identical repeated events (‘standards’) are presented, only to be interrupted by a different ‘oddball’ that seems to have a relatively protracted duration. One theoretical account has been that this effect is driven by a repetition suppression for repeated standards. The idea is that repeated events seemed shorter as they incur a progressively reduced neural response, which is supported by the finding that oddball perceived duration increases linearly with the number of preceding standards. However, typical oddball paradigms confound the probability of oddball presentations with variable numbers of standard repetitions on each trial, allowing people to increasingly anticipate an oddball presentation as more standards are presented. We eliminated this by making participants aware of what fixed number of standards they would encounter before a final test input and tested different numbers of standards in separate experimental sessions. The final event of sequences, the test event, was equally likely to be an oddball or another repeat. We found a positive linear relationship between the number of preceding repeated standards and the perceived duration of oddball test events. However, we also found this for repeat tests events, which speaks against the repetition suppression account of the temporal oddball effect.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: oddball, perceived duration, repetition suppression, prediction, anticipation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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