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J Vis. 2014 Jan 24;14(1). pii: 23. doi: 10.1167/14.1.23.

Interocular transfer of perceptual skills after sleep.

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Neuropsychology and Functional Neuroimaging Research Unit, Centre de Recherches en Cognition et Neurosciences, ULB Neurosciences Institute, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.


Several studies suggest that sleep improves perceptual skills in the visual texture discrimination task (TDT). Here we report that besides consolidation, sleep also generalizes the learned perceptual abilities to the untrained eye. Healthy volunteers (n = 32) were trained on the TDT, in which they had to discriminate between horizontal and vertical target textures briefly presented in the periphery of the visual field (left upper quadrant). After a 10-hr interval filled with either sleep or wakefulness, they were retested first on the trained eye in the trained quadrant and then on the untrained eye and quadrant. In line with prior findings, visual discrimination was globally higher after sleep than after wakefulness, as compared to performance levels at the end of training. Furthermore, discrimination performance was significantly improved only in the sleep condition for the untrained eye in the same quadrant, but also showed a trend to generalize to the untrained eye and untrained quadrant. Our results suggest that sleep-dependent perceptual skills continue developing at a later visual-process stage than the V1 area, where learning is not monocular anymore.


memory; orientation discrimination; perceptual learning; sleep

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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