Repetition priming results in sensitivity attenuation

Brain Res. 2015 Nov 11:1626:211-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.03.030. Epub 2015 Mar 26.


Repetition priming refers to the change in the ability to perform a task on a stimulus as a consequence of a former encounter with that very same item. Usually, repetition results in faster and more accurate performance. In the present study, we used a contrast discrimination protocol to assess perceptual sensitivity and response bias of Gabor gratings that are either repeated (same orientation) or alternated (different orientation). We observed that contrast discrimination performance is worse, not better, for repeated than for alternated stimuli. In a second experiment, we varied the probability of stimulus repetition, thus testing whether the repetition effect is due to bottom-up or top-down factors. We found that it is top-down expectation that determines the effect. We discuss the implication of these findings for repetition priming and related phenomena as sensory attenuation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention.

Keywords: Prediction; Repetition suppression; SDT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Sensitivity*
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Repetition Priming*