Neuroscience Seminar : Applying Perceptual Learning to produce broad-based benefits to vision
Professor Aaron Seitz (University of California - Riverside)
Tuesday, 20 September 2016, 1pm to 2pm
C113 Weiskrantz Room, Department of Experimental Psychology
Hosted by Tamar Makin (email@example.com)
Perception is the window through which we understand all information about our environment, and therefore deficits in perception due to disease, injury, stroke or aging can have significant negative impacts on individuals’ lives. Research in the field of perceptual learning has demonstrated that vision can be improved in both normally seeing and visually impaired individuals, however, a limitation of most perceptual learning approaches is their emphasis on simplicity. In the present research, we adopted an integrative approach where the goal is not to achieve highly specific learning but instead to achieve general improvements to vision. We combined multiple perceptual learning approaches that have individually contributed to increasing the speed, magnitude and generality of learning into a perceptual-learning based video-game. Our results demonstrate broad-based benefits of vision in a healthy adult and visually impaired populations. We find improvements in near and far central vision peripheral acuity and contrast sensitivity, and real world on-field benefits in baseball players. The use of this type of this custom video game framework built up from psychophysical approaches takes advantage of the benefits found from video game training while maintaining a tight link to psychophysical designs that enable understanding of mechanisms of perceptual learning and has great potential both as a scientific tool and as therapy to help improve perceptual skills.