Specificity of perceptual learning in a frequencey discrimination task

Dexter R.F. Irvine, Russell L. Martin, Ester Klimkeit, Rachel Smith

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82 Citations (Scopus)


On a variety of visual tasks, improvement in perceptual discrimination with practice (perceptual learning) has been found to be specific to features of the training stimulus, including retinal location. This specificity has been interpreted as evidence that the teaming reflects changes in neuronal tuning at relatively early processing stages. The aim of the present study was to examine the frequency specificity of human auditory perceptual teaming in a frequency discrimination task. Difference limens for frequency (DLFs) were determined at 5 and 8 kHz, using a three-alternative forced choice method, for two groups of eight subjects before and after extensive training at one or the other frequency. Both groups showed substantial improvement at the training frequency, and much of this improvement generalized to the nontrained frequency. However, a small but statistically significant component of the improvement was specific to the training frequency. Whether this specificity reflects changes in neural frequency tuning or attentional changes remains unclear. (C) 2000 Acoustical Society of America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2964-2968
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2000

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