The brain organizes the continuous flow of sensory input by parsing it into discrete events. In the case of two flashes separated by a brief ISI, for example, perception may be of a single flash or two distinct flashes, depending on the ISI but also on the speed of processing. A number of studies have reported evidence that participants with a higher EEG peak alpha frequency are able to detect the presence of two flashes separated by short intervals, whereas those with slower alpha report only one flash. Other studies have not found this correlation. We investigated potential factors that might mask the relationship between individual alpha frequency and visual perception. We recorded resting-state EEG from a large sample of participants (n = 50) and measured the temporal resolution of visual perception with the two-flash fusion task. We found that individual alpha frequency over posterior channels predicted the two-flash fusion threshold, in line with previous studies, but this correlation was significant only when taking into account the steepness of the psychophysical curve of the two-flash task. Participants with a relatively shallow psychophysical curve, likely reflecting high sensory and/or decision noise, failed to show this relationship. These findings replicate previous reports of a correlation between alpha frequency and visual temporal resolution, while also suggesting that an explanation of two-flash fusion performance that neglects the role of internal noise might be insufficient to account for all individual differences.

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