Visual prediction and perceptual expertise

Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 149 Thirteenth Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.65). 11/2011; 83(2):156-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Making accurate predictions about what may happen in the environment requires analogies between perceptual input and associations in memory. These elements of predictions are based on cortical representations, but little is known about how these processes can be enhanced by experience and training. On the other hand, studies on perceptual expertise have revealed that the acquisition of expertise leads to strengthened associative processing among features or objects, suggesting that predictions and expertise may be tightly connected. Here we review the behavioral and neural findings regarding the mechanisms involving prediction and expert processing, and highlight important possible overlaps between them. Future investigation should examine the relations among perception, memory and prediction skills as a function of expertise. The knowledge gained by this line of research will have implications for visual cognition research, and will advance our understanding of how the human brain can improve its ability to predict by learning from experience.

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Available from: Olivia Cheung, Nov 01, 2014
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    • "In this context, it is important to note that facilitated object and pattern recognition have also been demonstrated in situations where expertise results in strengthened associative processing among features or objects (Cheung & Bar, 2012), suggesting a close relation between prediction and expertise. Specifically, experts typically have more elaborative knowledge structures that enable predictions about stimulus input and automatically direct attention towards the most important stimulus and object features, thus enabling more efficient pattern recognition (Bilalić, Langner, Erb, & Grodd, 2010; Bilalić, Turella, Campitelli, Erb, & Grodd, 2012; Cheung & Bar, 2012). While the predictive process in the aforementioned cases is initialized only after stimulus presentation, in other situations expectations may be formulated prior to the appearance of the stimulus itself when triggered by task instructions (Carlsson, Petrovic, Skare, Petersson, & Ingvar, 2000; Simmons, Matthews, Stein, & Paulus, 2004) or by the stimuli preceding the critical event (Schubotz & von Cramon, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Subordinate-level object processing is regarded as a hallmark of perceptual expertise. However, the relative contribution of subordinate- and basic-level category experience in the acquisition of perceptual expertise has not been clearly delineated. In this study, participants learned to classify wading birds and owls at either the basic (e.g., wading bird, owl) or the subordinate (e.g., egret, snowy owl) level. After 6 days of training, behavioral results showed that subordinate-level but not basic-level training improved subordinate discrimination of trained exemplars, novel exemplars, and exemplars from novel species. Event-related potentials indicated that both basic- and subordinate-level training enhanced the early N170 component, but only subordinate-level training amplified the later N250 component. These results are consistent with models positing separate basic and subordinate learning mechanisms, and, contrary to perspectives attempting to explain visual expertise solely in terms of subordinate-level processing, suggest that expertise enhances neural responses of both basic and subordinate processing.
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 10/2006; 18(9):1453-65. DOI:10.1162/jocn.2006.18.9.1453 · 4.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior neuroimaging work on visual perceptual expertise has focused on changes in the visual system, ignoring possible effects of acquiring expert visual skills in nonvisual areas. We investigated expertise for reading musical notation, a skill likely to be associated with multimodal abilities. We compared brain activity in music-reading experts and novices during perception of musical notation, Roman letters, and mathematical symbols and found selectivity for musical notation for experts in a widespread multimodal network of areas. The activity in several of these areas was correlated with a behavioral measure of perceptual fluency with musical notation, suggesting that activity in nonvisual areas can predict individual differences in visual expertise. The visual selectivity for musical notation is distinct from that for faces, single Roman letters, and letter strings. Implications of the current findings to the study of visual perceptual expertise, music reading, and musical expertise are discussed.
    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 04/2009; 22(4):695-713. DOI:10.1162/jocn.2009.21229 · 4.69 Impact Factor
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