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A paper on the importance of measuring reaction times in experiments

Cognitive processes are typically inferred from behavioral data such as accuracy and reaction time [ 14 ]. Choice reaction time is very important in driving vehicles. Most of the time people drive their vehicles based on the conditioned reflexes, learned through experience, but sometimes when unexpected situation arises, like when they suddenly spot a traffic signal, their reaction to it is an example of visual choice reaction time.

The purpose of our study was to compare the visual choice reaction time for red, green, and yellow colors keeping the luminance constant in 60 healthy undergraduate female subjects. We had included only females in our study because reaction time is known to be faster in men compared with women [ 13 ].

Neurology Research International

The findings of our study revealed both red and green color choice visual reaction times were significantly less when compared with yellow. Our findings are consistent with Venkatesh et al.

But both their studies were on simple reaction time. The components of choice reaction time are 1 mental processing time, 2 nerve conduction time, 3 movement time including motor preparation and motor responseand 4 device response time [ 1920 ]. Since the nerve conduction time, movement time, and device response time are the same for all the three colors, the difference in visual choice reaction time should be in individual color mental processing time.

Choice reaction time is also a function of stimulus information but only up to some amount of practice, after which it is independent of the number of alternatives; to minimize its influence on results we have used the same number of colors with adequate practice [ 21 ]. A three-state conceptualization of the central mechanisms or mental processing time operative during the latent period-preprocessing sensation the time it takes to detect the sensory input from an objectstimulus categorization according to Donders it includes stimulus-stimulus translation and stimulus-response translationand response selection is proposed.

The stimulus detection could contribute to increased visual choice reaction time for yellow when compared to the other two colors, as red-green activates L-M cone and blue-yellow activates S-[L-M]. It is reported that simple RTs generated in response to S cone-isolating stimuli are longest, whereas the shortest RTs are generated by L-M cone-isolating stimuli [ 1221 ].

The difference in visual choice reaction time among colors with increased time for yellow color when compared with red and green colors could be because of difference in time taken for stimulus categorization and response selection. Stimulus categorization includes process-template matching versus feature testing [ 20 ]. Increased neuronal gamma-band synchronization and shortened neuronal response latencies to stimulus have direct effects on visually triggered behavior and reflect visuomotor integration.

Hence we can say that gamma-band synchronization is better for red and green colors when compared with yellow color [ 22 ]. We could not separately measure the components of mental processing time to strengthen our findings. In addition, visual choice reaction time for shorter wave length light could also be recorded which forms the future scope of our study.

Conclusion The study results indicated visual choice reaction time for yellow color was significantly more than red and green colors.

This could be because individual color mental processing time for yellow color is more than red and green. The difference could be in either preprocessing sensation and stimulus, stimulus categorization, or response selection or all of them. Hence we suggest that yellow color and its variants should be less used in places where reaction time becomes very important like in traffic signals and so forth. Disclosure The authors hereby state that the paper has been read and approved by all the authors, that the requirements for authorship have been met, and that each author believes that the paper represents honest work.

Conflict of Interests The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper. Gurunandan Uppinakudru helped in data analysis and preparation of the paper. Gaur Girwar Singh revised the paper. Shobith Bangera contributed to data analysis and editing the paper. Aswini Dutt Raghavendra edited the paper. Dinesh Thangavel helped in concept and revising the paper. View at Google Scholar B. View at Google Scholar M. View at Google Scholar A.

View at Google Scholar J. View at Google Scholar C. Human Perception and Performance, vol. View at Google Scholar L.