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Attentional Weighting in Perceptual Learning

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Perceptual learning is an enduring change in the perceptual system-- and our resulting perceptions--due to practice or repeated exposure to a perceptual stimulus. It is involved in the acquisition of perceptual expertise: the ability to make rapid and reliable high-level categorizations of objects unavailable to novices. Attentional weighting is one process by which perceptual learning occurs. Advancing our understanding of this process is of particular importance for understanding what is learned in perceptual learning. Attentional weighting seems to favour the hypothesis that what experts learn is simply to better direct their attention to elements of the stimulus relevant to making post-perceptual categorizations. Here I argue against this hypothesis. Attentional weighting is an integral component of the process that allows experts to come to represent high-level properties in perceptual experience.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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