Seb deLarrea-Mancera (UC Riverside)
Does Training on Broad Band Tactile Stimulation Promote the Generalization of Perceptual Learning? (Second Year Research)

Tactile perception has been largely understudied within the field of perceptual learning, however, it might yield valuable contributions to the literature and potentially guide novel training applications. We utilized vibro-tactile effectors to present patterns of stimulation in a match to sample paradigm (2-alt. forced-choice) to investigate whether training on broad-band tactile stimulation promotes the generalization of perceptual learning outcomes using two different types of training. One group of participants trained on a narrow-band of stimulation based on pure sinusoidal vibrations, and one on a broad-band of stimulation based on music. We found that perceptual learning outcomes of broad-band stimulation more strongly generalized to lower thresholds of discrimination between simple stimulus features –particularly in the frequency domain– than narrow-band stimulation. This study adds to the existing literature in perceptual learning, and is a first step towards devising adequate stimulation that in the context of training could yield to favorable learning outcomes.