September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
Effects of Daily Training Amount on Visual Perceptual Learning
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yongqian Song
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
    Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
    IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
  • Nihong Chen
    Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, People’s Republic of China
    Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1061
  • Fang Fang
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
    Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
    Key Laboratory of Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
    IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 186. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.186
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      Yongqian Song, Nihong Chen, Fang Fang; Effects of Daily Training Amount on Visual Perceptual Learning. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):186. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.186.

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Abstract

Perceptual learning has been widely used to study the plasticity of the visual system in adults. However, the learning protocol is usually time-consuming, which requires subjects to practice a task for thousands of times over weeks. To understand the relationship between the training amount and the behavioral improvement, four groups of subjects underwent motion discrimination training over 8 successive days for 40, 120, 360, or 1080 trials per day. Subjects were trained around one motion direction, and were tested at 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90° away from the trained direction before, one day after, and two weeks after training. In both the tests after training, we observed a significant reduction in the threshold at the trained direction. Surprisingly, the magnitudes in the threshold reduction were similar across groups with different daily training amounts, ranging from 40 trials (2 minutes) to 1080 trials (54 minutes) per day. We further quantified the specificity of learning as the difference between the threshold change at the trained direction and the average threshold change at the untrained directions. We found that, immediately after training, the group with the smallest training amount showed a weaker specificity compared to the other groups. However, the difference in the specificity among the groups disappeared two weeks after training. These findings demonstrated that the behavioral improvement from training was independent of the daily training amount. Also, the development of learning specificity in the time course indicated that the neural mechanisms underlying perceptual learning could be dependent on the training amount and evolve with time.

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