Data_Sheet_1_Long-Term Visual Memory and Its Role in Learning Suppression.docx (1.16 MB)

Data_Sheet_1_Long-Term Visual Memory and Its Role in Learning Suppression.docx

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posted on 12.10.2018 by Gabriel N. Friedman, Lance Johnson, Ziv M. Williams

Long-term memory is a core aspect of human learning that permits a wide range of skills and behaviors often important for survival. While this core ability has been broadly observed for procedural and declarative memory, whether similar mechanisms subserve basic sensory or perceptual processes remains unclear. Here, we use a visual learning paradigm to show that training humans to search for common visual features in the environment leads to a persistent improvement in performance over consecutive days but, surprisingly, suppresses the subsequent ability to learn similar visual features. This suppression is reversed if the memory is prevented from consolidating, while still permitting the ability to learn multiple visual features simultaneously. These findings reveal a memory mechanism that may enable salient sensory patterns to persist in memory over prolonged durations, but which also functions to prevent false-positive detection by proactively suppressing new learning.

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