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Memory reactivation improves visual perception

Nature Neuroscience volume 20, pages 13251328 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Human perception thresholds can improve through learning. Here we report findings challenging the fundamental 'practice makes perfect' basis of procedural learning theory, showing that brief reactivations of encoded visual memories are sufficient to improve perceptual discrimination thresholds. Learning was comparable to standard practice-induced learning and was not due to short training per se, nor to an epiphenomenon of primed retrieval enhancement. The results demonstrate that basic perceptual functions can be substantially improved by memory reactivation, supporting a new account of perceptual learning dynamics.

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Acknowledgements

We thank J. Herszage, H. Harris, and D. Sagi for their feedback on this work and Y. Bonneh for experimental programming. The study was supported by the I-CORE program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the ISF (grant 51/11).

Author information

Author notes

    • Rotem Amar-Halpert
    •  & Rony Laor-Maayany

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

    • Rotem Amar-Halpert
    • , Rony Laor-Maayany
    • , Shlomi Nemni
    •  & Nitzan Censor
  2. Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and Zlotowsky Center for Neuroscience, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.

    • Jonathan D Rosenblatt

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Contributions

R.A.H., R.L.M., S.N., and N.C. designed the experiments. R.A.H., R.L.M., S.N., and N.C. collected the data. R.A.H., R.L.M., S.N., J.D.R., and N.C. analyzed the data. R.A.H., R.L.M., J.D.R., and N.C. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nitzan Censor.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4629

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