Critical Flicker Frequency and Several Measures of Intellectual Functioning in Adolescent and Young Adults Males

William J Baker, Fordham University


CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The frequency at which a flickering light apparently fuses into a steady light for a given observer is referred to as his critical flicker frequency (CPF). The higher the frequency at which this occurs, usually reported in cycles per second, the better the discriminating power is considered to be. The phenomenon itself has received rather extensive attention for over 100 years (handle, 1955), but studies have only succeeded in demonstrating that what was at first considered to be a simple sensory process is, in actuality, the result of many complex functions (Simonson and Brozek, 1952), both peripheral (retinal) and central (cortical). Current attention has shifted from a consideration of the peripheral events (Hecht and Ferrijp, 1955) to the central determinants, especially in the major areas of brain pathology (Halstead, 1947; Young, 1949), age (Misiak, 1947, 1951; McCabe, 1954), and intelligence (Tanner, 1950; Colgan# 1954)* The studies on brain pathology indicated that the central determinants of OFF might be related to central neural efficiency in general since a wide variety of diverse injuries produced relatively uniform results in a consistent lowering of the OFF. This notion was further reinforced by Misiak's studies of the effects of age where the highest OFF thresholds were found in adolescent and young adult groups. This peak drops slowly with age and significant changes, subject to a great deal of individual variability, were noted above 55 years of age. The implications from the studies of the effects of aging were similar to those in brain pathology. The detrimental effects of approaching senility and cortical deterioration reduced central neural efficiency and as a result, the OFF as well.

Subject Area

Cognitive psychology

Recommended Citation

Baker, William J, "Critical Flicker Frequency and Several Measures of Intellectual Functioning in Adolescent and Young Adults Males" (1960). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28673361.