Statistical learning (ability to extract and store new structures) and perceptual learning (improve visual discrimination abilities) traditionally thought to deal with separate tasks at different levels of visual processing. To test this conviction, we investigated whether perceptual learning can be enhanced by the presence of a task irrelevant statistical structure. We trained two groups (N=16) of observers for 5-days to perform an orientation discrimination task. For one group, the background color of the scene changed across trials according to a fixed sequence, for the other, it changed randomly throughout the training. Overall, the fix group achieved a larger reduction in discrimination thresholds than the random group. Furthermore, there was a marked difference in performance of the two groups with different context. This suggests that task irrelevant statistical structure during perceptual learning is automatically and implicitly built in the developing internal representation.

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