Research

Dr Nijhawan is interested in the flash-lag effect and its implications for the interaction of the animal with the environment.  The flash-lag effect occurs when observers view a moving object a part of which is briefly flashed.  Observers see a 'break' between the moving part and the flashed part, with the flashed part appearing in a lagging position. 

Dr Nijhawan has the honour of publishing the first paper (in 1994) to mention the term "flash-lag effect", and starting intense research activity on this topic.  Professors Schlag and Schlag-Rey (2002) of UCLA School of Medicine have described the proposal in the 1994 paper as one of the "most-daring proposals... with bold disregard for the venerable".

Since 1994, Dr Nijhawan and colleagues have shown that the flash-lag effect occurs for changing (non-moving) visual stimuli, during eye-movements, and most recently for voluntary limb movements in total darkness. 

The flash-lag paradigm has been successfully used to investigate topics such as: colour vision, visual attention, visual masking, perceptual filling-in, and forward models for motor control.  Effects of sporting experience, alcohol, age and dysfunction of the nervous system are in the process of being investigated with this method.