Perceptual Learning is Associated with Axonal Plasticity

Neuroscience

(Reliawire) – Even when we’re not consciously forming new memories, our brains can change in important ways, altering how we interpret and interact with the world, a new study led by Rockefeller University scientist Charles D. Gilbert suggests.

“Some connections in brain are fixed after a period in early life, known as the critical period. Others are changing throughout life, and play an important role in encoding information in our brain as we encounter new experiences,” says Gilbert, the Arthur and Jane Ross Professor of Neurosciences and Behavior.

The study focused on perceptual learning, a process that involves tuning the senses to better perceive the subtleties of various sights, sounds, and smells. Most of the time, we’re not aware that we’ve become better at distinguishing between two different shapes, for instance; but over time, with repeated exposure, this type of unconscious learning indeed takes place. CONTINUE