Time course influences transfer of visual perceptual learning across spatial location


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Abstract

Visual perceptual learning describes the improvement of visual perception with repeated practice. Previous research has established that the learning effects of perceptual training may be transferable to untrained stimulus attributes such as spatial location under certain circumstances. However, the mechanisms involved in transfer have not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the effect of altering training time course on the transferability of learning effects. Participants were trained on a motion direction discrimination task or a sinusoidal grating orientation discrimination task in a single visual hemifield. The 4000 training trials were either condensed into one day, or spread evenly across five training days. When participants were trained over a five-day period, there was transfer of learning to both the untrained visual hemifield and the untrained task. In contrast, when the same amount of training was condensed into a single day, participants did not show any transfer of learning. Thus, learning time course may influence the transferability of perceptual learning effects.

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