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Jonathan Dobres, Takeo Watanabe; Feedback inhibits untrained motion directions in perceptual learning. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):1125. doi: 10.1167/10.7.1125.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Feedback regarding the correctness of subjects' responses has been shown to have beneficial effects on perceptual learning. It has been shown that feedback can increase the rate of learning (Herzog & Fahle, 1999) or make it possible for an observer to learn with stimuli that would be too difficult to learn in the absence of feedback (Seitz et al 2006). Given the powerful effects of feedback, it would be worthwhile to examine its deeper characteristics, such as specificity and transfer, but these aspects remain largely unexamined in the literature. To examine the nature of these effects, this study examines feedback in concurrence with coherent motion stimuli. Subjects were trained in a 2IFC random dot motion detection task in which two coherent motion directions (coherence = 10%) were interleaved within training sessions. One direction was always paired with trial feedback, and the other, separated from the first by 90°, had no feedback associated with it. Subjects participated in seven such training sessions, each of which was conducted on a different day. One day before and after the training stage, subjects completed pretest and post-test sessions in which they detected motion directions that included the trained directions as well as 16 other directions in a range of ±48° around the directions of training. Results indicate that during training performance steadily increased for the trained directions with and without feedback. To our surprise, results of the test stages are totally different between the two directions; while the observers' detection sensitivity improved only for the direction that had been paired with feedback and its vicinity, performance improvement occurs evenly around the direction that had been paired with no feedback. These results suggest that feedback plays role in inhibiting directions that are not trained.
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