Linking perceptual learning with identical stimuli to imagery perceptual learning

Grzeczkowski, Lukasz; Tartaglia, Elisa M.; Mast, Fred W.; Herzog, Michael H. (2015). Linking perceptual learning with identical stimuli to imagery perceptual learning. Journal of vision, 15(10:13), pp. 1-8. ARVO 10.1167/15.10.13

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Perceptual learning is usually thought to be exclusively driven by the stimuli presented during training (and the underlying synaptic learning rules). In some way, we are slaves of our visual experiences. However, learning can occur even when no stimuli are presented at all. For example, Gabor contrast detection improves when only a blank screen is presented and observers are asked to imagine Gabor patches. Likewise, performance improves when observers are asked to imagine the nonexisting central line of a bisection stimulus to be offset either to the right or left. Hence, performance can improve without stimulus presentation. As shown in the auditory domain, performance can also improve when the very same stimulus is presented in all learning trials and observers were asked to discriminate differences which do not exist (observers were not told about the set up). Classic models of perceptual learning cannot handle these situations since they need proper stimulus presentation, i.e., variance in the stimuli, such as a left versus right offset in the bisection stimulus. Here, we show that perceptual learning with identical stimuli occurs in the visual domain, too. Second, we linked the two paradigms by telling observers that only the very same bisection stimulus was presented in all trials and asked them to imagine the central line to be offset either to the left or right. As in imagery learning, performance improved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Mast, Fred

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1534-7362

Publisher:

ARVO

Language:

English

Submitter:

Fred Mast

Date Deposited:

25 Jul 2017 14:27

Last Modified:

25 Jul 2017 14:31

Publisher DOI:

10.1167/15.10.13

PubMed ID:

26501405

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.96629

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/96629

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