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Noriko Yamagishi, Aaron R. Seitz, Birgit Werner, Mitsuo Kawato, Takeo Watanabe; Task specific disruption of perceptual learning. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):714. doi: 10.1167/5.8.714.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
For more than a century, the process of stabilization has been a central issue in the research of learning and memory (Müller and Pilzecker 1900). Namely, that after a skill or memory is acquired, it must be consolidated before it becomes resistant from disruption by subsequent learning of a similar task. While it is clear that there are many cases in which learning can be disrupted, it is unclear when learning something new disrupts what has already been learned. Herein we provide two answers to this question with the novel demonstration that perceptual learning of a visual stimulus disrupts, or interferes with, the consolidation of a previously learned visual stimulus. In this study we trained subjects on two different hyperacuity tasks and compared whether learning of the second task disrupted that of the first. We first show that disruption of learning occurs between visual stimuli presented in the same retinotopic location, but not for the same stimuli presented at retinotopically disparate locations. Second we show that disruption from stimuli in the same retinotopic location is ameliorated if the subjects wait for one hour before training on the second task. These studies demonstrate that disruption, at least in visual learning, occurs only between highly similar features that a temporal delay of 1 hour between the training sessions is sufficient to consolidate visual learning.
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