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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47009. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047009. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Implicit and explicit contributions to object recognition: evidence from rapid perceptual learning.

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University of Osnabrück, Institute of Experimental Psychology I, Osnabrück, Germany.


The present study investigated implicit and explicit recognition processes of rapidly perceptually learned objects by means of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP). Participants were initially exposed to object pictures within an incidental learning task (living/non-living categorization). Subsequently, degraded versions of some of these learned pictures were presented together with degraded versions of unlearned pictures and participants had to judge, whether they recognized an object or not. During this test phase, stimuli were presented at 15 Hz eliciting an SSVEP at the same frequency. Source localizations of SSVEP effects revealed for implicit and explicit processes overlapping activations in orbito-frontal and temporal regions. Correlates of explicit object recognition were additionally found in the superior parietal lobe. These findings are discussed to reflect facilitation of object-specific processing areas within the temporal lobe by an orbito-frontal top-down signal as proposed by bi-directional accounts of object recognition.

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