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Perceptual learning to discriminate the intensity and spatial location of nociceptive stimuli

Mancini, F; Dolgevica, K; Steckelmacher, J; Haggard, P; Friston, K; Iannetti, GD; (2016) Perceptual learning to discriminate the intensity and spatial location of nociceptive stimuli. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 39104. 10.1038/srep39104. Green open access

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Abstract

Accurate discrimination of the intensity and spatial location of nociceptive stimuli is essential to guide appropriate behaviour. The ability to discriminate the attributes of sensory stimuli is continuously refined by practice, even throughout adulthood - a phenomenon called perceptual learning. In the visual domain, perceptual learning to discriminate one of the features that define a visual stimulus (e.g., its orientation) can transfer to a different feature of the same stimulus (e.g., its contrast). Here, we performed two experiments on 48 volunteers to characterize perceptual learning in nociception, which has been rarely studied. We investigated whether learning to discriminate either the intensity or the location of nociceptive stimuli (1) occurs during practice and is subsequently maintained, (2) requires feedback on performance, and (3) transfers to the other, unpractised stimulus feature. First, we found clear evidence that perceptual learning in discriminating both the intensity and the location of nociceptive stimuli occurs, and is maintained for at least 3 hours after practice. Second, learning occurs only when feedback is provided during practice. Finally, learning is largely confined to the feature for which feedback was provided. We discuss these effects in a predictive coding framework, and consider implications for future studies.

Type: Article
Title: Perceptual learning to discriminate the intensity and spatial location of nociceptive stimuli
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep39104
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep39104
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1534455
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