is the process of learning improved skills of perception
. These improvements range from simple sensory discriminations (e.g., distinguishing two musical tones
from one another) to complex categorizations of spatial and temporal patterns relevant to real-world expertise (e.g., reading, seeing relations among chess
pieces, knowing whether or not an X-ray
image shows a tumor). Sensory modalities
may include visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and taste. Perceptual learning forms important foundations of complex cognitive processes (i.e., language) and interacts with other kinds of learning to produce perceptual expertise. Underlying perceptual learning are changes in the neural circuitry. The ability for perceptual learning is retained throughout life.