Stimulus Roving and Flankers Affect Perceptual Learning of Contrast Discrimination in Macaca mulattaReport as inadecuate




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‘Stimulus roving’ refers to a paradigm in which the properties of the stimuli to be discriminated vary from trial to trial, rather than being kept constant throughout a block of trials. Rhesus monkeys have previously been shown to improve their contrast discrimination performance on a non-roving task, in which they had to report the contrast of a test stimulus relative to that of a fixed-contrast sample stimulus. Human psychophysics studies indicate that roving stimuli yield little or no perceptual learning. Here, we investigate how stimulus roving influences perceptual learning in macaque monkeys and how the addition of flankers alters performance under roving conditions. Animals were initially trained on a contrast discrimination task under non-roving conditions until their performance levels stabilized. The introduction of roving contrast conditions resulted in a pronounced drop in performance, which suggested that subjects initially failed to heed the sample contrast and performed the task using an internal memory reference. With training, significant improvements occurred, demonstrating that learning is possible under roving conditions. To investigate the notion of flanker-induced perceptual learning, flanker stimuli 30% fixed-contrast iso-oriented collinear gratings were presented jointly with central roving stimuli. Presentation of flanker stimuli yielded substantial performance improvements in one subject, but deteriorations in the other. Finally, after the removal of flankers, performance levels returned to their pre-flanker state in both subjects, indicating that the flanker-induced changes were contingent upon the continued presentation of flankers.



Author: Xing Chen , Mehdi Sanayei , Alexander Thiele

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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