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Chiu-Yueh Chen, Hans Op de Beeck; Perceptual learning with complex objects: A comparison between full-practice training and memory reactivation. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2549. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.9.2549.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Perception improves with repeated exposure. Evidence has shown object recognition can be improved by training for multiple days in adults. In particular, a study of Amar-Halpert et al. (2017) has compared the learning effect of repetitive and brief, at-threshold training on a discrimination task and reported similar improvement in both groups. The finding is interpreted as evidence that memory reactivation benefits discrimination learning. This raises the question how this process might influence different perceptual tasks, including tasks with more complex visual stimuli. Here, this preregistered study investigates whether reactivation induces improvements in a visual object learning task that includes more complex visual stimuli. Participants were trained to recognize a set of backward-masked objects during five days of training. After the initial training, a group was trained with repeated practice, the other with brief, near-threshold reactivation trials. In both groups we found improved object recognition at brief exposure durations. Traditional intense training shows a daily improvement; however, the group with reactivation does not reach the same level of improvement. Our findings suggest that perceptual learning with objects requires large amounts of practice.
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