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Ikuko Mukai, Kandy Bahadur, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Leslie G. Ungerleider; Exogenous and endogenous attention during perceptual learning differentially affect post-training target thresholds. Journal of Vision 2011;11(1):25. doi: 10.1167/11.1.25.
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There is conflicting evidence in the literature regarding the role played by attention in perceptual learning. To further examine this issue, we independently manipulated exogenous and endogenous attention and measured the rate of perceptual learning of oriented Gabor patches presented in different quadrants of the visual field. In this way, we could track learning at attended, divided-attended, and unattended locations. We also measured contrast thresholds of the Gabor patches before and after training. Our results showed that, for both exogenous and endogenous attention, accuracy in performing the orientation discrimination improved to a greater extent at attended than at unattended locations. Importantly, however, only exogenous attention resulted in improved contrast thresholds. These findings suggest that both exogenous and endogenous attention facilitate perceptual learning, but that these two types of attention may be mediated by different neural mechanisms.
Note:*, p < 0.05.
aThe area was defined by a 3 × 3 degree square around the fixation circle in the middle of the screen. b, c, dThe stimulus locations. eThe area outside of the four areas of interest, (a)–(d).
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