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 Perceptual learning relies on local motion signals to learn global motion

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Date posted: 21/09/2009

Researchers have long known of the brain's ability to learn based on visual motion input, and a recent study has uncovered more insight into where the learning occurs.

The brain first perceives changes in visual input (local motion) in the primary visual cortex. The local motion signals are then integrated in the later visual processing stages and interpreted as global motion in the higher-level processes.

But when subjects in a recent experiment using moving dots were asked to detect global motion (the overall direction of the dots moving together), the results show that their learning relied on more local motion processes (the movement of dots in small areas) than global motion areas.

"We had expected that higher-level processing could be more involved in task-relevant perceptual learning investigated in this study," said Dr. Shigeaki Nishina who conducted the research in Boston University and now belongs to the Honda Research Institute Japan. "Contrary to the expectation, the result suggested local motion signals are predominantly used for task-relevant perceptual learning of global motion, which was surprising to us."

Nishina said the results, which appear in the latest issue of Journal of Vision show that the improvement in detection of global motion is not due to learning of the global motion but to learning of local motion of the moving dots in the test.

See the full Story via external site: www.journalofvision.org



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