New study reveals some people can actually see more FPS

Sayem Ahmed
Man playing Counter Strike 2 at a gaming setup

A new scientific study claims that some people can be predisposed to being more sensitive to higher framerates and refresh rates, as they can see more images per second.

A study conducted by Trinity College Dublin and published in the journal Plos One found that some people can be more sensitive to seeing more images per second than others.

The study tested 88 participants between the ages of 18 to 35 on their “Critical Flicker Fusion” or CFF threshold, a method to quantify someone’s Visual Temporal Resolution, which is the fastest rate that a person’s “visual system can discriminate visual signals”.

The study sought to determine the variance in CFF thresholds among participants, and researchers built an apparatus that looks like goggles attached to a screen to measure their response to flashes of light.

Some claimed that light was constant while it was flashing just 35 times per second, and other participants could detect fast flashes of light at rates greater than 60 times per second. This is nothing too wild in the world of gaming. Users can set their PS5’s display to refresh up to 120 times per second, with a compatible display.

Speaking to The Guardian, PhD candidate Clinton Haarlem at Trinity College Dublin said: “We think that people who see flicker at higher rates basically have access to a little bit more visual information per timeframe than people on the lower end of the spectrum.”

The study also found little difference between the CFF thresholds of both sexes, with no data suggesting that one might be superior. This has bigger implications for those in professional sports, or competitive gaming.

“We believe that individual differences in perception speed might become apparent in high-speed situations where one might need to locate or track fast-moving objects, such as in ball sports, or in situations where visual scenes change rapidly, such as in competitive gaming,” stated supervising researcher Professor Kevin Mitchell to The Guardian.

Gaming monitor refresh rates have continued to skyrocket up to 540Hz and beyond. Now, there’s actual evidence out there that suggests that some people might be more sensitive to framerates and refresh rates.