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Training of binocular rivalry suppression suggests stimulus-specific plasticity in monocular and binocular visual areas.


ABSTRACT: The plasticity of the human brain, as shown in perceptual learning, is generally reflected by improved task performance after training. Here, we show that perceptual suppression can be increased through training. In the first experiment, binocular rivalry suppression of a specific orientation was trained, leading to a relative reduction in sensitivity to the trained orientation. In a second experiment, two orthogonal orientations were suppressed in alternating training blocks, in the left and right eye, respectively. This double-training procedure lead to reduced sensitivity for the orientation that was suppression-trained in each specific eye, implying that training of feature suppression is specific for the eye in which the oriented grating was presented during training. Results of a control experiment indicate that the obtained effects are indeed due to suppression during training, instead of being merely due to the repetitive presentation of the oriented gratings. Visual plasticity is essential for a person's visual development. The finding that plasticity can result in increased perceptual suppression reported here may prove to be significant in understanding human visual development. It emphasizes that for stable vision, not only the enhancement of relevant signals is crucial, but also the reliable and stable suppression of (task) irrelevant signals.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4861957 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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