• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jphysiolThe Journal of Physiology SiteMembershipSubmissionJ Physiol
J Physiol. Mar 15, 1995; 483(Pt 3): 797–810.
PMCID: PMC1157819

Human perceptual learning in identifying the oblique orientation: retinotopy, orientation specificity and monocularity.

Abstract

1. Human perceptual learning in discrimination of the oblique orientation was studied using psychophysical methods. Subjects were trained daily to improve their ability to identify the orientation of a circular 2.5 deg diameter unidimensional noise field. Dramatic improvements in sensitivity to contour orientation occurred over a period of 15-20 days. The improved performance persisted for several months. Improvement was more evident between daily sessions than within sessions. This was partly due to fatigue interfering with the learning effect. Moreover, a consolidation period seemed to be required. 2. Improvement was restricted to the position of the stimulus being trained. This position dependency of the learning effect proved very precise. After training at a specific stimulus position, merely displacing the stimulus to an adjacent position caused a marked increase in thresholds. 3. No transfer of the training effect was observed between orientations. Following a shift of 90 deg away from the trained orientation, performance fell, even below the initial level. 4. We observed complete to almost complete transfer between the two eyes. 5. Our results suggest plastic changes at a level of the visual processing stream where input from both eyes has come together, but where generalization for spatial localization and orientation has not yet occurred.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.4M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ahissar M, Hochstein S. Attentional control of early perceptual learning. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jun 15;90(12):5718–5722. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Andrews DP. Perception of contour orientation in the central fovea. I: short lines. Vision Res. 1967 Nov;7(11):975–997. [PubMed]
  • Appelle S. Perception and discrimination as a function of stimulus orientation: the "oblique effect" in man and animals. Psychol Bull. 1972 Oct;78(4):266–278. [PubMed]
  • Ball K, Sekuler R. Direction-specific improvement in motion discrimination. Vision Res. 1987;27(6):953–965. [PubMed]
  • Berardi N, Fiorentini A. Interhemispheric transfer of visual information in humans: spatial characteristics. J Physiol. 1987 Mar;384:633–647. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Blakemore C, Campbell FW. On the existence of neurones in the human visual system selectively sensitive to the orientation and size of retinal images. J Physiol. 1969 Jul;203(1):237–260. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Blasdel GG. Differential imaging of ocular dominance and orientation selectivity in monkey striate cortex. J Neurosci. 1992 Aug;12(8):3115–3138. [PubMed]
  • Blasdel GG, Fitzpatrick D. Physiological organization of layer 4 in macaque striate cortex. J Neurosci. 1984 Mar;4(3):880–895. [PubMed]
  • Boussaoud D, Desimone R, Ungerleider LG. Visual topography of area TEO in the macaque. J Comp Neurol. 1991 Apr 22;306(4):554–575. [PubMed]
  • Burkhalter A, Van Essen DC. Processing of color, form and disparity information in visual areas VP and V2 of ventral extrastriate cortex in the macaque monkey. J Neurosci. 1986 Aug;6(8):2327–2351. [PubMed]
  • Dow BM, Snyder AZ, Vautin RG, Bauer R. Magnification factor and receptive field size in foveal striate cortex of the monkey. Exp Brain Res. 1981;44(2):213–228. [PubMed]
  • Duncan J. Selective attention and the organization of visual information. J Exp Psychol Gen. 1984 Dec;113(4):501–517. [PubMed]
  • Dupont P, Orban GA, Vogels R, Bormans G, Nuyts J, Schiepers C, De Roo M, Mortelmans L. Different perceptual tasks performed with the same visual stimulus attribute activate different regions of the human brain: a positron emission tomography study. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Dec 1;90(23):10927–10931. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fahle M, Edelman S. Long-term learning in vernier acuity: effects of stimulus orientation, range and of feedback. Vision Res. 1993 Feb;33(3):397–412. [PubMed]
  • Fendick M, Westheimer G. Effects of practice and the separation of test targets on foveal and peripheral stereoacuity. Vision Res. 1983;23(2):145–150. [PubMed]
  • Fiorentini A, Berardi N. Learning in grating waveform discrimination: specificity for orientation and spatial frequency. Vision Res. 1981;21(7):1149–1158. [PubMed]
  • Gattass R, Gross CG, Sandell JH. Visual topography of V2 in the macaque. J Comp Neurol. 1981 Oct 1;201(4):519–539. [PubMed]
  • Gattass R, Sousa AP, Gross CG. Visuotopic organization and extent of V3 and V4 of the macaque. J Neurosci. 1988 Jun;8(6):1831–1845. [PubMed]
  • GIBSON EJ. Improvement in perceptual judgments as a function of controlled practice or training. Psychol Bull. 1953 Nov;50(6):401–431. [PubMed]
  • Gilbert CD, Wiesel TN. Receptive field dynamics in adult primary visual cortex. Nature. 1992 Mar 12;356(6365):150–152. [PubMed]
  • Hawken MJ, Parker AJ. Contrast sensitivity and orientation selectivity in lamina IV of the striate cortex of Old World monkeys. Exp Brain Res. 1984;54(2):367–372. [PubMed]
  • Hubel DH, Wiesel TN. Receptive fields and functional architecture of monkey striate cortex. J Physiol. 1968 Mar;195(1):215–243. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hubel DH, Wiesel TN. Ferrier lecture. Functional architecture of macaque monkey visual cortex. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1977 Jul 28;198(1130):1–59. [PubMed]
  • Karni A, Sagi D. The time course of learning a visual skill. Nature. 1993 Sep 16;365(6443):250–252. [PubMed]
  • Livingstone MS, Hubel DH. Anatomy and physiology of a color system in the primate visual cortex. J Neurosci. 1984 Jan;4(1):309–356. [PubMed]
  • McKee SP, Westheimer G. Improvement in vernier acuity with practice. Percept Psychophys. 1978 Sep;24(3):258–262. [PubMed]
  • Matin E, Rubsamen C, Vannata D. Orientation discrimination as a function of orientation and spatial frequency. Percept Psychophys. 1987 Apr;41(4):303–307. [PubMed]
  • Mountcastle VB, Motter BC, Steinmetz MA, Sestokas AK. Common and differential effects of attentive fixation on the excitability of parietal and prestriate (V4) cortical visual neurons in the macaque monkey. J Neurosci. 1987 Jul;7(7):2239–2255. [PubMed]
  • Orban GA, Vandenbussche E, Vogels R. Human orientation discrimination tested with long stimuli. Vision Res. 1984;24(2):121–128. [PubMed]
  • Ramachandran VS. Learning-like phenomena in stereopsis. Nature. 1976 Jul 29;262(5567):382–384. [PubMed]
  • Recanzone GH, Schreiner CE, Merzenich MM. Plasticity in the frequency representation of primary auditory cortex following discrimination training in adult owl monkeys. J Neurosci. 1993 Jan;13(1):87–103. [PubMed]
  • Sagi D, Julesz B. Enhanced detection in the aperture of focal attention during simple discrimination tasks. Nature. 1986 Jun 12;321(6071):693–695. [PubMed]
  • Shiu LP, Pashler H. Improvement in line orientation discrimination is retinally local but dependent on cognitive set. Percept Psychophys. 1992 Nov;52(5):582–588. [PubMed]
  • Tootell RB, Hamilton SL, Silverman MS, Switkes E. Functional anatomy of macaque striate cortex. I. Ocular dominance, binocular interactions, and baseline conditions. J Neurosci. 1988 May;8(5):1500–1530. [PubMed]
  • Treisman A, Gormican S. Feature analysis in early vision: evidence from search asymmetries. Psychol Rev. 1988 Jan;95(1):15–48. [PubMed]
  • Vogels R, Eeckhout H, Orban GA. The effect of feature uncertainty on spatial discriminations. Perception. 1988;17(5):565–577. [PubMed]
  • Vogels R, Orban GA. The effect of practice on the oblique effect in line orientation judgments. Vision Res. 1985;25(11):1679–1687. [PubMed]
  • Vogels R, Orban GA. Decision factors affecting line orientation judgments in the method of single stimuli. Percept Psychophys. 1986 Aug;40(2):74–84. [PubMed]
  • WETHERILL GB, LEVITT H. SEQUENTIAL ESTIMATION OF POINTS ON A PSYCHOMETRIC FUNCTION. Br J Math Stat Psychol. 1965 May;18:1–10. [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of Physiology are provided here courtesy of The Physiological Society

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...