Infoscience

Journal article

Perceptual learning of motion discrimination by mental imagery

Perceptual learning can occur when stimuli are only imagined, i.e., without proper stimulus presentation. For example, perceptual learning improved bisection discrimination when only the two outer lines of the bisection stimulus were presented and the central line had to be imagined. Performance improved also with other static stimuli. In non-learning imagery experiments, imagining static stimuli is different from imagining motion stimuli. We hypothesized that those differences also affect imagery perceptual learning. Here, we show that imagery training also improves motion direction discrimination. Learning occurs when no stimulus at all is presented during training, whereas no learning occurs when only noise is presented. The interference between noise and mental imagery possibly hinders learning. For static bisection stimuli, the pattern is just the opposite. Learning occurs when presented with the two outer lines of the bisection stimulus, i.e., with only a part of the visual stimulus, while no learning occurs when no stimulus at all is presented.

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