Key to All Optical Illusions Discovered - Yahoo! News:
We didn't see Desmond's flashes in season 4, we did him time travel (his consciousness anyway), so maybe that "cured" his flashes of the future. Yahoo News is reporting that we really can see into the future, not like Desmond seeing Charlie drown, but still the future non-the-less.
"Humans can see into the future, says a cognitive scientist. It's nothing
like the alleged predictive powers of Nostradamus, but we do get a glimpse of
events one-tenth of a second before they occur.
And the mechanism behind that can also explain why we are tricked by optical illusions.
Researcher Mark Changizi of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York says it starts
with a neural lag that most everyone experiences while awake. When light hits
your retina, about one-tenth of a second goes by before the brain translates the
signal into a visual perception of the world.
Scientists already knew about the lag, yet they have debated over exactly how we compensate, with one school of thought proposing our motor system somehow modifies our movements to offset the delay." More