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Journal Article

The Effect of Learning on the Function of Monkey Extrastriate Visual Cortex

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84154

Rainer,  G
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84041

Lee,  H
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84063

Logothetis,  NK
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Rainer, G., Lee, H., & Logothetis, N. (2004). The Effect of Learning on the Function of Monkey Extrastriate Visual Cortex. PLoS Biology, 2(2), 275-283. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020044.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-D9D1-4
Abstract
One of the most remarkable capabilities of the adult brain is its ability to learn and continuously adapt to an ever-changing environment. While many studies have documented how learning improves the perception and identification of visual stimuli, relatively little is known about how it modifies the underlying neural mechanisms. We trained monkeys to identify natural images that were degraded by interpolation with visual noise. We found that learning led to an improvement in monkeys' ability to identify these indeterminate visual stimuli. We link this behavioral improvement to a learning-dependent increase in the amount of information communicated by V4 neurons. This increase was mediated by a specific enhancement in neural activity. Our results reveal a mechanism by which learning increases the amount of information that V4 neurons are able to extract from the visual environment. This suggests that V4 plays a key role in resolving indeterminate visual inputs by coordinated interaction between bottom-up and top-down processing streams.