Motion Integration and Postdiction in Visual Awareness

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Science  17 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5460, pp. 2036-2038
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5460.2036

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In the flash-lag illusion, a flash and a moving object in the same location appear to be offset. A series of psychophysical experiments yields data inconsistent with two previously proposed explanations: motion extrapolation (a predictive model) and latency difference (an online model). We propose an alternative in which visual awareness is neither predictive nor online but is postdictive, so that the percept attributed to the time of the flash is a function of events that happen in the ∼80 milliseconds after the flash. The results here show how interpolation of the past is the only framework of the three models that provides a unified explanation for the flash-lag phenomenon.

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