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Perceptual Learning


Perceptual learning is fundamental to human cognition. It can be defined as an enhancement in the ability to distinguish
between similar stimuli (that otherwise would be very hard to tell apart) as a consequence of experience with them, or with
stimuli similar to the target stimuli. This allows the wine connoisseur to distinguish between different wines, the bird
watcher to tell one warbler from another, and people to identify that face as a given person rather than someone else, if the
face is taken from an ethnic grouping that they are familiar with. My research focuses on the mechanisms responsible for
perceptual learning. By using a range of neuroscience techniques (tDCS, fMRI, TMS/MEP, EEG/ERP) in conjunction with
the behavioural designs provided by experimental psychology I will investigate the neural basis for perceptual learning, test a
computational model of the phenomenon, and try to control the development and expression of this perceptual skill. This
programme of research will train me in new techniques, further develop my expertise in the domain of perceptual learning,
and allow me to work in one of the leading laboratories for this type of research at the present time. It will also allow me to
raise my and my discipline's profile, and to do this, as part of this research proposal, I will convene an International
Workshop on Perceptual Learning to bring together the various researchers working on this issue and publish the
proceedings as an edited book.


Net EU contribution
€ 183 454,80
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom

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South West (England) Devon Devon CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00