Exogenous attention generalizes location transfer of perceptual learning in adults with amblyopia

Mariel Roberts, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is a behavioral manifestation of brain neuroplasticity. However, its practical effectiveness is limited because improvements are often specific to the trained conditions and require significant time and effort. It is critical to understand the conditions that promote learning and transfer. Covert endogenous (voluntary) and exogenous (involuntary) spatial attention help overcome VPL location specificity in neurotypical adults, but whether they also do so for people with atypical visual development is unknown. This study investigates the role of exogenous attention during VPL in adults with amblyopia, an ideal population given their asymmetrically developed, but highly plastic, visual cortex. Here we show that training on a discrimination task leads to improvements in foveal contrast sensitivity, acuity, and stereoacuity. Notably, exogenous attention helps generalize learning beyond trained spatial locations. Future large-scale studies can verify the extent to which attention enhances the effectiveness of perceptual learning during rehabilitation of visual disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103839
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022


  • Biological sciences
  • Neuroscience
  • Sensory neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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