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      Perceptual learning incepted by decoded fMRI neurofeedback without stimulus presentation.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Young Adult, Visual Perception, physiology, Visual Cortex, Size Perception, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurofeedback, Male, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Learning, Humans, Female, Brain Mapping, Analysis of Variance, Adult

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          Abstract

          It is controversial whether the adult primate early visual cortex is sufficiently plastic to cause visual perceptual learning (VPL). The controversy occurs partially because most VPL studies have examined correlations between behavioral and neural activity changes rather than cause-and-effect relationships. With an online-feedback method that uses decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals, we induced activity patterns only in early visual cortex corresponding to an orientation without stimulus presentation or participants' awareness of what was to be learned. The induced activation caused VPL specific to the orientation. These results suggest that early visual areas are so plastic that mere inductions of activity patterns are sufficient to cause VPL. This technique can induce plasticity in a highly selective manner, potentially leading to powerful training and rehabilitative protocols.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          10.1126/science.1212003
          3297423
          22158821

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