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J Vis. 2002;2(2):190-203.

Comparing perceptual learning tasks: a review.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, La Jolla, CA, USA.


We compared perceptual learning in 16 psychophysical studies, ranging from low-level spatial frequency and orientation discrimination tasks to high-level object and face-recognition tasks. All studies examined learning over at least four sessions and were carried out foveally or using free fixation. Comparison of learning effects across this wide range of tasks demonstrates that the amount of learning varies widely between different tasks. A variety of factors seems to affect learning, including the number of perceptual dimensions relevant to the task, external noise, familiarity, and task complexity.

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