Neural systems for perceptual skill learning

Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev. 2002 Mar;1(1):76-83. doi: 10.1177/1534582302001001005.


Recent studies have begun to use functional neuroimaging techniques to examine the changes in brain activity that occur as humans learn new skills. This review outlines results from a number of imaging studies examining visual perceptual skill learning. Although the regions engaged during skill learning differ across tasks, a common finding has been increasing activation in the inferior temporal and fusiform gyri as skill is acquired and activation of the caudate nucleus in association with learning. Neuroimaging has great promise for the understanding of learning at the level of large neural populations, but further work is necessary to understand the specificity of learning-related changes and their relation to underlying neurophysiological plasticity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Reading*
  • Visual Perception / physiology