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Data from: Macaque monkeys perceive the flash lag illusion

Cite this dataset

Subramaniyan, Manivannan; Ecker, Alexander S.; Berens, Philipp; Tolias, Andreas S. (2013). Data from: Macaque monkeys perceive the flash lag illusion [Dataset]. Dryad.


Transmission of neural signals in the brain takes time due to the slow biological mechanisms that mediate it. During such delays, the position of moving objects can change substantially. The brain could use statistical regularities in the natural world to compensate neural delays and represent moving stimuli closer to real time. This possibility has been explored in the context of the flash lag illusion, where a briefly flashed stimulus in alignment with a moving one appears to lag behind the moving stimulus. Despite numerous psychophysical studies, the neural mechanisms underlying the flash lag illusion remain poorly understood, partly because it has never been studied electrophysiologically in behaving animals. Macaques are a prime model for such studies, but it is unknown if they perceive the illusion. By training monkeys to report their percepts unbiased by reward, we show that they indeed perceive the illusion qualitatively similar to humans. Importantly, the magnitude of the illusion is smaller in monkeys than in humans, but it increases linearly with the speed of the moving stimulus in both species. These results provide further evidence for the similarity of sensory information processing in macaques and humans and pave the way for detailed neurophysiological investigations of the flash lag illusion in behaving macaques.

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