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Visual perceptual learning is effective in the illusory far but not in the near space

Zafarana, Antonio, Farnè, Alessandro, Tamè, Luigi (2023) Visual perceptual learning is effective in the illusory far but not in the near space. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 31 (3). pp. 1206-1215. ISSN 1069-9384. E-ISSN 1531-5320. (doi:10.3758/s13423-023-02389-w) (KAR id:102760)

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Visual shape discrimination is faster for objects close to the body, in the peripersonal space (PPS), compared to objects far from the body. Visual processing enhancement in PPS occurs also when perceived depth is based on 2D pictorial cues. This advantage has been observed from relatively low-level (detection, size, orientation) to high-level visual features (face processing). While multisensory association also displays proximal advantages, whether PPS influences visual perceptual learning remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether perceptual learning effects vary according to the distance of visual stimuli (near or far) from the observer, illusorily induced by leveraging the Ponzo illusion. Participants performed a visual search task in which they reported whether a specific target object orientation (e.g., triangle pointing downward) was present among distractors. Performance was assessed before and after practising the visual search task (30 minutes/day for 5 days) at either the close (near group) or far (far group) distance. Results showed that participants that performed the training in the near space did not improve. By contrast, participants that performed the training in the far space showed an improvement in the visual search task in both the far and near spaces. We suggest that such improvement following the far training is due to a greater deployment of attention in the far space, which could make the learning more effective and generalize across spaces.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3758/s13423-023-02389-w
Uncontrolled keywords: perceptual learning; visual learning; peripersonal space; extrapersonal space
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: University of Kent (
Agence Nationale de la Recherche (
Depositing User: Luigi Tame
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2023 15:35 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2024 14:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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