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Luca Matarazzo, Edit Frankó, Pierre Maquet, Rufin Vogels; Offline processing of memories induced by perceptual visual learning during subsequent wakefulness and sleep: A behavioral study. Journal of Vision 2008;8(4):7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.4.7.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To further characterize perceptual memory consolidation during sleep, we used a coarse orientation discrimination task in which participants had to discriminate the orientation of orthogonal gratings occluded by increasing levels of noise. In a first study ( N = 11), we showed that the learning effect in this task is retinotopic (position-specific) and orientation specific. In a second experiment, we assessed the effect of nocturnal sleep, as opposed to the effect of time, on perceptual learning. A first group of participants was trained in the morning, tested in the evening and retested the next morning (morning–evening–morning, MEM, N = 11); a second group was trained in the evening, tested the next morning, and retested in the evening (evening–morning–evening; EME; N = 12). Between training and testing, EME subjects improved significantly more (after a night of sleep) than MEM subjects (after 12 waking hours). Similarly, between test and retest, performance of MEM subjects (after a full night of sleep) improved significantly more than in EME subjects (after 12 further waking hours). These results suggest a beneficial effect of sleep on coarse orientation discrimination. Further studies are needed to characterize the neural correlates of this perceptual learning and the offline consolidation of perceptual memory.
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