Learning effects in haptic perception

  • Hubert R. Dinse
  • Claudia Wilimzig
  • Tobias Kalisch


Human haptic perception is not a constant, but subject to manifold modifications throughout lifespan. Major determinants are development and aging as well as alterations following injury and compensatory brain reorganization. While during early development haptic perception is refined due to maturation and experience, haptic perception during aging deteriorates due to many factors, not all of them fully understood. Besides these lifespan factors, it is common wisdom that haptic perception and skills in general improve through practice (Fig. 1), see also [1]. Perceptual learning involves relatively long-lasting changes to an organism’s perceptual system that improve its ability to respond to its environment and are caused by this environment. In case of Blinds or in Musicians, both characterized by superior haptic perception, improvement is assumed to be due to use-dependent or experience-dependent neuroplasticity mechanisms.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Lateral Inhibition Cortical Processing Haptic Perception Recurrence Quantification Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Suggested readings

  1. Dinse HR, Kalisch T, Ragert P, Pleger B, Schwenkreis P, Tegenthoff M (2005) Improving human haptic performance in normal and impaired human populations through unattended activation-based learning. Transaction Appl Perc 2: 71–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dinse HR, Ragert P, Pleger B, Schwenkreis, P, Tegenthoff M (2003) Pharmacological modulation of perceptual learning and associated cortical reorganization. Science 301: 91–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fahle M, Poggio T (2002) Perceptual Learning. MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Goldstone RL (1998) Perceptual learning. Ann Rev Psychol 49: 585–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Karni A, Sagi D (1991) Where practice makes perfect in texture discrimination: evidence for primary visual cortex plasticity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 88: 4966–4970PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Recanzone GH, Merzenich MM, Jenkins WM, Grajski K, Dinse HR (1992) Topographic reorganization of the hand representation in cortical area 3b of owl monkeys trained in a frequency discrimination task. J Neurophysiol 67: 1031–1056PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Seitz A, Watanabe T (2005) A unified model for perceptual learning. Trends Cogn Sci 9: 329–334PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Seitz AR, Dinse HR (2007) A common framework for perceptual learning. Curr Opin Neurobiol 17: 148–153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hubert R. Dinse
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudia Wilimzig
    • 3
  • Tobias Kalisch
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Neuroinformatik, Dept. Theoretical Biology, Neural Plasticity LabRuhr UniversityBochumGermany
  2. 2.Haptec-Haptic Research & Technology GmbHFröndenbergGermany
  3. 3.Division of BiologyCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

Personalised recommendations