Absence of flash-lag when judging global shape from local positions

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When a flash is presented aligned with a moving stimulus, the former is perceived to lag behind the latter (the flash-lag effect). We study whether this mislocalization occurs when a positional judgment is not required, but a veridical spatial relationship between moving and flashed stimuli is needed to perceive a global shape. To do this, we used Glass patterns that are formed by pairs of correlated dots. One dot of each pair was presented moving and, at a given moment, the other dot of each pair was flashed in order to build the Glass pattern. If a flash-lag effect occurs between each pair of dots, we expect the best perception of the global shape to occur when the flashed dots are presented before the moving dots arrive at the position that physically builds the Glass pattern. Contrary to this, we found that the best detection of Glass patterns occurred for the situation of physical alignment. This result is not consistent with a low-level contribution to the flash-lag effect.

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