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Ian Donovan, Sarit Szpiro, Marisa Carrasco; Exogenous attention facilitates location transfer of perceptual learning. Journal of Vision 2015;15(10):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.10.11.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Perceptual skills can be improved through practice on a perceptual task, even in adulthood. Visual perceptual learning is known to be mostly specific to the trained retinal location, which is considered as evidence of neural plasticity in retinotopic early visual cortex. Recent findings demonstrate that transfer of learning to untrained locations can occur under some specific training procedures. Here, we evaluated whether exogenous attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations, both adjacent to the trained locations (Experiment 1) and distant from them (Experiment 2). The results reveal that attention facilitates transfer of perceptual learning to untrained locations in both experiments, and that this transfer occurs both within and across visual hemifields. These findings show that training with exogenous attention is a powerful regime that is able to overcome the major limitation of location specificity.
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