Perceptual Learning


Perceptual learning is the specific and relatively permanent modification of perception and behavior following sensory experience. It encompasses parts of the learning process that are independent from conscious forms of learning and involve structural and/or functional changes in primary sensory cortices. A familiar example is the treatment for a "lazy" or crossed eye. Covering the good eye causes gradual improvement in the weaker eye’s cortical representations. If the good eye is patched too long, however, it learns to see less acutely.

This book presents advances made in the last decade in this rapidly growing field. The first part examines neuronal changes caused by lesions or external influences. It discusses the effects of these changes on behavior and the extent to which plasticity in sensory systems is possible. Taking a broader view, the second part looks at how more conscious or systemic stimuli cause cortical changes. Clinical trials in which subjects are taught to recognize visual and auditory stimuli demonstrate the relationship between perceptual and cognitive learning. The final sections offer general models of perceptual learning and discuss the future of the field.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. I. Anatomy and Physiology
  3. 1. Experience-Dependent Plasticity of Intracortical Connections

    Siegrid Lwel and Wolf Singer

  4. 2. Adaptation of Inputs in the Somatosensory System

    Hubert R. Dinse and Michael M. Merzenich

  5. 3. Plasticity of Receptive Fields in Early Stages of the Adult Visual System

    Ulf T. Eysel

  6. 4. Neuronal Representation of Object Images and Effects of Learning

    Keiji Tanaka

  7. 5. Electrophysiological Correlates of Perceptual Learning

    Aniek Schoups

  8. 6. Perceptual Learning and the Development of Complex Visual Representations in Temporal Cortical Neurons

    David L. Sheinberg and Nikos K. Logothetis

  9. 7. Functional Reorganization of Human Cerebral Cortex and Its Perceptual Concomitants

    Annette Sterr, Thomas Elbert and Brigitte Rockstroh

  10. II. Low-Level Psychophysics
  11. 8. Learning to Understand Speech with the Cochlear Implant

    Graeme M. Clark

  12. 9. Adaptation of Learning in the Visual Perception of Gratings

    Adriana Fiorentini and Nicoletta Berardi

  13. 10. Plasticity of Low-Level Visual Networks

    Barbara Zenger and Dov Sagi

  14. 11. Learning to Perceive Features below the Foveal Photoreceptor Spacing

    Manfred Fahle

  15. 12. Specificity versus Invariance of Perceptual Learning: The Example of Position

    Marcus Dill

  16. III. Higher-Level Psychophysics
  17. 13. The Role of Insight in Perceptual Learning: Evidence from Illusory Contour Perception

    Nava Rubin, Ken Nakayama and Robert Shapley

  18. 14. The Role of Attention in Learning Simple Visual Tasks

    Merav Ahissar and Shaul Hochstein

  19. 15. High-Level Learning of Early Visual Tasks

    Pawan Sinha and Tomaso Poggio

  20. 16. Learning to Recognize Objects

    Guy Wallis and Heinrich Blthoff

  21. 17. Learning New Faces

    Vicki Bruce and Mike Burton

  22. IV. Modeling
  23. 18. Models of Perceptual Learning

    Shimon Edelman and Nathan Intrator

  24. 19. Learning to Find Independent Components in Natural Scenes

    Anthony J. Bell and Terrence J. Sejnowski

  25. 20. Top-Down Information and Models of Perceptual Learning

    Michael H. Herzog and Manfred Fahle

  26. Glossary
  27. References
  28. Contributors
  29. Index