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Maro Machizawa, Rebecca Patey, Dongho Kim, Takeo Watanabe; Different aspects of training on a texture discrimination task (TDT) improves different attentional abilities. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):951. doi: 10.1167/14.10.951.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
It is well known that training of the texture discrimination task (TDT) leads to visual perceptual learning (VPL). Since VPL is specific for the location in which the trained feature was presented, it has been suggested that changes in the early visual cortex is involved in VPL of TDT. However, it remains unclear whether VPL is associated with improvement in higher cognitive functions including attention and whether the cognitive improvement is also specific to the location trained. In a meanwhile, it has been proposed that attention is classified into three different abilities: 'alerting', 'orienting' and 'executive control'. Since a stimulus used for TDT consists of foreground 'target' and background texture elements as well as a letter presented at the center of the stimulus for a fixation task, it is possible that different aspects of VPL are associated with improvements in different attentional abilities. Thus, we systematically manipulated experimental procedures to examine which attention ability is enhanced in association with a different aspect of VPL of TDT. Subjects were trained on TDT (Karni & Sagi, 1991) for 2 weeks. Before and after the training, we administered the lateralized attention network task (LANT; Green, et al., 2008) to effectively dissociate three attentional abilities. When subjects (n = 9) were trained on a conventional TDT with a stimulus consisting of both foreground and background textures, the 'executive control' was bilaterally enhanced. When subjects (n = 5) were trained on TDT with a modified stimulus with no background texture elements, subjects bilaterally improved attentional 'alerting'. These results indicate that VPL of TDT is associated with improvement in attention and that some different aspects of TDT training lead to enhancements in different attentional abilities.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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