Training-induced recovery of low-level vision followed by high-level perceptual improvements in an adult with developmental object and face agnosia
43.552, Monday, May 13, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, Vista Ballroom
Sharon Gilaie-Dotan1, Maria Lev2, Dana Gotthilf-Nezri2, Oren Yehezkel2, Anat Perry3,4, Shlomo Bentin3,5, Yoram Bonneh6, Uri Polat2; 1Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL, London, UK, 2Faculty of Medicine, Goldschleger Eye Research Institute, Tel Aviv University, Tel Hashomer, Israel, 3Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, 4Department of Psychology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, 5Center for Neural Computation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, 6Department of Human Biology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
Long-term deprivation of normal visual inputs can cause perceptual impairments at various levels of visual function, from basic visual acuity deficits, to high-level face and object agnosia. Yet it is unclear whether training during adulthood, at a post-developmental stage of the adult visual system can overcome such developmental impairments. Here, we visually trained LG, a 20-year-old individual with a developmental object and face agnosia. Prior to training, LGs basic visual functions such as visual acuity, crowding effects, and contour integration were at the level of a 5-6 year old. Intensive visual training, based on lateral interactions, was applied for a period of nine months. LGs directly trained but also untrained visual functions such as visual acuity, crowding, and contour integration improved significantly and reached near-age-level performance, with long-term (over 2 years) persistence. Moreover, the training facilitated additional binocular functions, and some improvement was observed in LGs higher order visual functions such as object recognition and part integration. LGs face perception skills have not improved thus far. These results suggest that corrective training at a post-developmental stage, even in the adult visual system, can prove effective, and its enduring effects are the basis for a revival of a developmental cascade that can lead to reduced perceptual impairments.