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 (http://www.journalofvision.org/9/9/15/) 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.
The researchers said the study of perceptual learning can give scientists deeper insight not only about sensory systems but also the whole brain’s adaptable nature.
“This line of study could give a guideline for optimizing human machine interface,” said Nishina. “When we use a new machine, we need to learn how to get information from the machine. In our study, local motion signals were more important for the brain to learn a task based on global motion. This suggests that the optimal information for efficient learning could be different from the visual information that is directly related to the task to be learned.”
In addition, Nishina said the new understanding of where the brain processes task-relevant perceptual learning can lead to further understanding of how a brain makes decisions based on sensory input.
“We expect that our results will help the understanding of decision-making process and constructing a more concrete model of the process,” he said.
The Journal of Vision is an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access publication devoted to visual function in humans and animals. It is published by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. It explores topics such as spatial vision, perception, low vision, color vision and more, spanning the fields of neuroscience, psychology and psychophysics. JOV is known for hands-on datasets and models that users can manipulate online.
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. The Association encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology.
Jessie Williams | Newswise Science News
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences