Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The elements of experimental phonetics
Scripture, Edward Wheeler
ment may be registered on a recording drum (p. 7). The fol¬ 
lowing arrangement will do. A current from the battery B 
(Fig. 79) is sent through the primary coil P of an inducto- 
rium, then through a magnetic marker M (p. 91), an open 
circuit key Kl and a closed circuit key Kv A telephone T 
is connected to the secondary coil S of the induetorium. 
Pressure on Kx closes the circuit, makes a click in the tele¬ 
phone and deflects the point of the marker. While Kx is 
held down and the marker deflected to one side, pressure on 
K2 will break the circuit and remove the deflection. The 
marker is arranged to write on a drum beside the time line 
from an electric fork (Fig. 17) ; the time of the deflection of 
the point can thus be determined. The person experimented 
upon is to respond to a click in the telephone by actuating the 
key K2 , the time of the deflection is his 4 reaction time/ 
For measurements in thousandths of a second the records 
must be corrected by adding the excess of latent time of the 
marker at the make over that at the break (p. 92). This 
correction can be avoided through using Kx as a break-make 
key by the additional contact at the back ; the sound occurs 
at the break ; since it is registered by a break deflection the 
reaction time is measured between two break deflections and 
no correction is needed for latent time. Many variations may 
be made in the apparatus. It is often convenient to connect 
the reaction key K2 to a separate marker ; to use a spark coil 
(p. 12) instead of the marker; to use a chronoscope (p. 152) 
instead of the fork and the smoked drum. The key K2 may 
be a chin key consisting of a telegraph key so placed under 
the chin as to break the circuit when the jaw begins to 
move (p. 154), a voice key that breaks the circuit by the 
action of the air against a metal plate (Fig. 66), or a lip 
key that breaks the circuit when the lips are compressed. 
When the subject responds by’ a simple movement such as 
lowering the jaw, blowing, or pressing the lips, the action is 
closely like that of a response with the finger; all these forms 
are termed 4 simple reactions.’ 
Of this reaction time very little is consumed by the trans-


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