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Role of endogenous and exogenous attention in task-relevant visual perceptual learning


Nguyen, Kieu N.; Watanabe, Takeo; Andersen, George J. (2020), Role of endogenous and exogenous attention in task-relevant visual perceptual learning, Dryad, Dataset,


The present study examined the role of exogenous and endogenous attention in task relevant visual perceptual learning (TR-VPL). VPL performance was assessed by examining the learning to a trained stimulus feature and transfer of learning to an untrained stimulus feature. To assess the differential role of attention in VPL, two types of attentional cues were manipulated; exogenous and endogenous. In order to assess the effectiveness of the attentional cue, the two types of attentional cues were further divided into three cue-validity conditions. Participants were trained, on a novel task, to detect the presence of a complex gabor patch embedded in fixed Gaussian contrast noise while contrast thresholds were varied. The results showed initial differences were found prior to training, and so the magnitude of learning was assessed. Exogenous and endogenous attention were both found to facilitate learning and feature transfer when investigating pre-test and post-test thresholds. However, examination of training data indicate attentional differences; with endogenous attention showing consistently lower contrast thresholds as compared to exogenous attention suggesting greater impact of training with endogenous attention. We conclude that several factors, including the use of stimuli that resulted in rapid learning, may have contributed to the generalization of learning found in the present study.