Jun 21, 2002

The time course of neural changes underlying auditory perceptual learning

Learning & Memory
Mercedes AtienzaElena Dominguez-Marin


Improvement in perception takes place within the training session and from one session to the next. The present study aims at determining the time course of perceptual learning as revealed by changes in auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) reflecting preattentive processes. Subjects were trained to discriminate two complex auditory patterns in a single session. ERPs were recorded just before and after training, while subjects read a book and ignored stimulation. ERPs showed a negative wave called mismatch negativity (MMN)-which indexes automatic detection of a change in a homogeneous auditory sequence-just after subjects learned to consciously discriminate the two patterns. ERPs were recorded again 12, 24, 36, and 48 h later, just before testing performance on the discrimination task. Additional behavioral and neurophysiological changes were found several hours after the training session: an enhanced P2 at 24 h followed by shorter reaction times, and an enhanced MMN at 36 h. These results indicate that gains in performance on the discrimination of two complex auditory patterns are accompanied by different learning-dependent neurophysiological events evolving within different time frames, supporting the hypothesis that fast ...Continue Reading

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  • Citations121

Mentioned in this Paper

Discrimination Learning
Evoked Potentials
Potentials, Event-Related
Auditory Evoked Potentials
Auditory Perception
Endoscopic Retrograde Pancreatography

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