Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Alan Nagy (Committee Member), Robert Patterson (Committee Member), Valerie Shalin (Committee Member), Scott Watamaniuk (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to test the various models describing the Flash Lag Effect (FLE). Beginning with the initial work of Nijhawan (1994), several models have emerged endeavoring to explain the FLE (e.g., Eagleman & Sejnowski, 2000; Whitney, 2000; Baldo & Caticha, 2005). Two series of studies comprising 11 separate experiments were undertaken to differentiate these models, with a particular focus on the neural network model of Baldo and Caticha (2005). The experiments included the three primary FLE experimental paradigms: continuous motion (CM), flash-initiated (FIC) and flash-terminated (FTC). Ninety-three participants made observations in these three paradigms using a 2-AFC interleaved staircase protocol. ANOVAs were performed on each of the 11 experiments to determine main effects and interactions of the experimental factors, and additionally, overall FLE levels irrespective of factor influences. The combination of results shows that the neural network model (Baldo & Caticha, 2005) holds promise to form the basis for a unifying theory, whereas the postdiction (Eagleman & Sejnowski, 2000) and differential neural latency (Whitney, 2000) models do not. Implications and directions for further study are discussed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded