Perceptual Learning

Most people are all familiar with the phenomenon of having their performance improve over time with practice. Perceptual learning refers to the changes that take place within sensory and perceptual systems as a result of practice performing a perceptual task. Such changes can take place at both the levels of behavior and physiology, and recent work has demonstrated that adult perceptual systems can exhibit a large degree of mutability as a result of extended stimulation through training. This entry explores the background, psychophysics, physiology, and complexity of perceptual learning.


Until relatively recently, it was generally assumed that perceptual learning was a phenomenon that was restricted to the early stages of human development or was attributable to changes in higher-level cognitive processes. In the case of ...

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