How perceptual learning shapes perception
Lifelong learning makes experts. Here, we asked the question how every day experience shapes vision through perceptual learning. We tested performance in visual acuity, vernier discrimination, visual backward masking, Gabor contrast detection, and bisection discrimination tasks. When lifelong visual learning leads to generalization on basic skills, we expect strong correlations between tasks. When perceptual learning is specific, we expect no or very little correlations. The latter is indeed what we found in 36 healthy student observers (mean age = 21.1 years). Except for Gabor contrast detection and visual acuity, all other pair wise correlations were non-significant. These results cannot be explained by intra-observer variability because performance within one task was highly reproducible. In summary, our study suggests that everyday experience shapes perception in a very specific manner.
Record created on 2012-12-04, modified on 2016-08-09