ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (04): 653-658.

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The Neural Mechanism of Perceptual Learning

MA Xiao-Li;YANG Bin;ZHONG Xiang;SONG Yan


  1. (State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2009-03-26 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-07-15 Published:2009-07-15
  • Contact: SONG Yan

Abstract: Practice or experience can induce long-term changes in perceptual skill. This process is referred to as perceptual learning and indicates the plasticity even in adult brain. Previous studies on perceptual learning were mostly focused on the specificity, the transfer and the time course of learning. With the application of fMRI and ERP technology and the development of electrophysiological and psychophysical methods in recent years, scientists have achieved unprecedented progress in the neural mechanism of perceptual learning. The brain areas involved in perceptual learning, from primary visual cortex, have extended to the middle stage of visual information process (e.g. V4) and some higher attention-related brain areas. Furthermore, recent studies not only revealed how cortical maps change in the course of perceptual learning, but also explored the cell-level changes involved in perceptual learning. These new results provided further evidence for the research and application of brain plasticity.

Key words: perceptual learning, neural mechanism, primary visual cortex, higher brain areas