Barbara Dosher

Barbara Dosher is Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. She is coauthor of Visual Psychophysics: From Laboratory to Theory (MIT Press).

  • Perceptual Learning

    How Experience Shapes Visual Perception

    Barbara Dosher and Zhong-Lin Lu

    A comprehensive and integrated introduction to the phenomena and theories of perceptual learning, focusing on the visual domain.

    Practice or training in perceptual tasks improves the quality of perceptual performance, often by a substantial amount. This improvement is called perceptual learning (in contrast to learning in the cognitive or motor domains), and it has become an active area of research of both theoretical and practical significance. This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the phenomena and theories of perceptual learning, focusing on the visual domain. Perceptual Learning explores the tradeoff between the competing goals of system stability and system adaptability, signal and noise, retuning and reweighting, and top-down versus bottom-down processes. It examines and evaluates existing research and potential future directions, including evidence from behavior, physiology, and brain imaging, and existing perceptual learning applications, with a focus on important theories and computational models. It also compares visual learning to learning in other perceptual domains, and considers the application of visual training methods in the development of perceptual expertise and education as well as in remediation for limiting visual conditions. It provides an integrated treatment of the subject for students and researchers and for practitioners who want to incorporate perceptual learning into their practice.Practice or training in perceptual tasks improves the quality of perceptual performance, often by a substantial amount. This improvement is called perceptual learning, in contrast with learning in the cognitive or motor domains. Perceptual learning has been a very active area of research of both theoretical and practical interest. Research on perceptual learning is of theoretical significance in illuminating plasticity in adult perceptual systems, and in understanding the limitations of human information processing and how to improve them. It is of practical significance as a potential method for the development of perceptual expertise in the normal population, for its potential in advancing development and supporting healthy aging, and for noninvasive amelioration of deficits in challenged populations by training. Perceptual learning has become an increasingly important topic in biomedical research. Practitioners in this area include science disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, computer sciences, and optometry, and developers in applied areas of learning game design, cognitive development and aging, and military and biomedical applications. Commercial development of training products, protocols, and games is a multi-billion dollar industry. Perceptual learning provides the basis for many of the developments in these areas.

    This book is written for anyone who wants to understand the phenomena and theories of perceptual learning or to apply the technology of perceptual learning to the development of training methods and products. Our aim is to provide an introduction to those researchers and students just entering this exciting field, to provide a comprehensive and integrated treatment of the phenomena and the theories of perceptual learning for active perceptual learning researchers, and to describe and develop the basic techniques and principles for readers who want to successfully incorporate perceptual learning into applied developments. The book considers the special challenges of perceptual learning that balance the competing goals of system stability and system adaptability. It provides a systematic treatment of the major phenomena and models in perceptual learning, the determinants of successful learning and of specificity and transfer. The book provides a cohesive consideration of the broad range of perceptual learning through the theoretical framework of incremental learning of reweighting evidence that supports successful task performance. It provides a detailed analysis of the mechanisms by which perceptual learning improves perceptual limitations, the relationship of perceptual learning and the critical period of development, and the semi-supervised modes of learning that dominate perceptual learning. It considers limitations and constraints on learning multiple tasks and stimuli simultaneously, the implications of training at high or low levels of performance accuracy, and the importance of feedback to perceptual learning. The basis of perceptual learning in physiology is discussed along with the relationship of visual perceptual learning to learning in other sensory domains. The book considers the applications of perceptual learning in the development of expertise, in education and gaming, in training during development and aging, and applications to remediation of mental health and vision disorders. Finally, it applies the phenomena and models of perceptual learning to considerations of optimizing training.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £50.00
  • Visual Psychophysics

    Visual Psychophysics

    From Laboratory to Theory

    Zhong-Lin Lu and Barbara Dosher

    A comprehensive treatment of the skills and techniques needed for visual psychophysics, from basic tools to sophisticated data analysis.

    Vision is one of the most active areas in biomedical research, and visual psychophysical techniques are a foundational methodology for this research enterprise. Visual psychophysics, which studies the relationship between the physical world and human behavior, is a classical field of study that has widespread applications in modern vision science. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, this textbook provides a comprehensive treatment of visual psychophysics, teaching not only basic techniques but also sophisticated data analysis methodologies and theoretical approaches. It begins with practical information about setting up a vision lab and goes on to discuss the creation, manipulation, and display of visual images; timing and integration of displays with measurements of brain activities and other relevant techniques; experimental designs; estimation of behavioral functions; and examples of psychophysics in applied and clinical settings.

    The book's treatment of experimental designs presents the most commonly used psychophysical paradigms, theory-driven psychophysical experiments, and the analysis of these procedures in a signal-detection theory framework. The book discusses the theoretical underpinnings of data analysis and scientific interpretation, presenting data analysis techniques that include model fitting, model comparison, and a general framework for optimized adaptive testing methods. It includes many sample programs in Matlab with functions from Psychtoolbox, a free toolbox for real-time experimental control. Once students and researchers have mastered the material in this book, they will have the skills to apply visual psychophysics to cutting-edge vision science.

    • Hardcover $70.00 £58.00

Contributor

  • An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 4

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 4

    Methods, Models, and Conceptual Issues

    Daniel N. Osherson, Saul Sternberg, and Don Scarborough

    The chapters in this volume span many areas of cognitive science—including artificial intelligence, neural network models, animal cognition, signal detection theory, computational models, reaction-time methods, and cognitive neuroscience.

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science provides a point of entry into the vast realm of cognitive science by treating in depth examples of issues and theories from many subfields. The first three volumes of the series cover Language, Visual Cognition, and Thinking.

    Volume 4, Methods, Models, and Conceptual Issues, expands the series in new directions. The chapters span many areas of cognitive science—including artificial intelligence, neural network models, animal cognition, signal detection theory, computational models, reaction-time methods, and cognitive neuroscience. The volume also offers introductions to several general methods and theoretical approaches for analyzing the mind, and shows how some of these approaches are applied in the development of quantitative models.

    Rather than general and inevitably superficial surveys of areas, the contributors present "case studies"—detailed accounts of one or two achievements within an area. The goal is to tell a good story, challenging the reader to embark on an intellectual adventure.

    • Hardcover $23.75 £18.99
    • Paperback $10.75 £8.99