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M. Fahle; Perceptual learning: A case for early selection. Journal of Vision 2004;4(10):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/4.10.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Perceptual learning is any relatively permanent change of perception as a result of experience. Visual learning leads to sometimes dramatic and quite fast improvements of performance in perceptual tasks, such as hyperacuity discriminations. The improvement often is very specific for the exact task trained, for the precise stimulus orientation, the stimulus position in the visual field, and the eye used during training. This specificity indicates location of the underlying changes in the nervous system at least partly on the level of the primary visual cortex. The dependence of learning on error feedback and on attention, on the other hand, proves the importance of top-down influences from higher cortical centers. In summary, perceptual learning seems to rely at least partly on changes on a relatively early level of cortical information processing (early selection), such as the primary visual cortex under the influence of top-down influences (selection and shaping). An alternative explanation based on late selection is discussed.
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