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Many psychophysical experiments involve a "training" period, where
subjects get familiarized with the task, but the transition from a naive
a highly trained state is rarely documented. For some experiments, a few
presentations of the stimuli might be all what is necessary to ensure
fairly stable thresholds in the following test phase, while for others,
subjects have to go through hours of practice.
I'm interested in perceptual learning in general, and in auditory
perceptual learning in particular, and would like to use the list for an
My questions are:
1. Which tasks do and don't "train up"?
And in tasks which do show a substantial training effect:
2. What is the time course of this learning?
3. What are the important parameters?
amount and/or regularity of training
retention after breaks
How does the initial threshold relate to the final threshold?
(poor starters catching up, or a similar "dynamic range" for
How much does previous (hearing) experience matter?
(e.g. is your favourite subject always the one with the lowest
thresholds, and/or the fastest one to produce stable
What is special in "special populations"?
(e.g. musicians, piano tuners, hearing impaired, psychoacousticians...)
I'd be happy to hear from you about your experiences, and also about
references - i found lots in a "visual perceptual learning" search, but
much less in the auditory version.
many thanks, Marina
University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK
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