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The essential role of stimulus temporal patterning in enabling perceptual learning

Nature Neuroscience volume 8, pages 14971499 (2005) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Little is known about how temporal stimulus factors influence perceptual learning. Here we demonstrate an essential role of stimulus temporal patterning in enabling perceptual learning by showing that 'unlearnable' contrast and motion-direction discrimination (resulting from random interleaving of stimuli) can be readily learned when stimuli are practiced in a fixed temporal pattern. This temporal patterning does not facilitate learning by reducing stimulus uncertainty; further, learning enabled by temporal patterning can later generalize to randomly presented stimuli.

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Acknowledgements

We thank S.-G. He for helpful comments. This research was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai Municipal Government and the US National Institutes of Health (R01-04776 and R01-01728).

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Author notes

    • Shu-Guang Kuai
    •  & Jun-Yun Zhang

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.

    • Shu-Guang Kuai
    • , Jun-Yun Zhang
    •  & Cong Yu
  2. School of Optometry and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

    • Stanley A Klein
    •  & Dennis M Levi

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cong Yu.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1546

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