Effects of variation in Flicker Fusion Thresholds (vision)

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Effects of variation in Flicker Fusion Thresholds (vision)

Post by NMLevesque » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:47 pm

P r i m e r
Time is relative to the observer, and apparently even differs from place to place in the universe. Part of this relativity is apparently a matter of perception as anyone who has experienced different states of consciousness can attest; or as the adages go, time flies when you're having fun, a watched pot never boils, and so on. Of particular interest to me is vision and in particular the flicker fusion threshold (FFR); the frequency at which an intermittent stimulus appears continuous. According to the following article this threshold differs from species to species and seems to relate to both size and metabolic rate, which incidentally play a significant role in lifespan.

http://www.economist.com/news/science-a ... lay-slo-mo

The article also posits the possibility that viewing the world in 'slow motion', due to having what amounts to having a higher FPS, may make the shorter lifespan, that comes with being smaller and having a higher metabolic rate, seem longer. Conversely one can look at the increasing frame rate of videos (T.V., movies, & the interwebs), and observe the increase in detail that comes with it. Old movies look clumsy, and sometimes the lower frame rate creates unintended visual effects that detract from the illusion and end up breaking the fourth wall. And now as we press the boundaries of what humans can even see, our videos are starting to look hyper- or even sur-real.

Q u e s t i o n
So my question is this: if you increased your FFR what would happen? Would time or everything seem to slow down, or would you merely see the subtleties of motion in greater 'detail'?
Note: If you think our brains can't deal with such an increase, then please explain why, and then assume that they can for the sake of the above question.
Bonus Question: Can the concept of FFR be applied to other senses? E.g a discontinuous sound which sounds continuous, or a vibration that has a frequency high enough to feel still.

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