Late maturation of auditory perceptual learning

Julia Jones Huyck, Beverly A. Wright*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Adults can improve their performance on many perceptual tasks with training, but when does the response to training become mature? To investigate this question, we trained 11-year-olds, 14-year-olds and adults on a basic auditory task (temporal-interval discrimination) using a multiple-session training regimen known to be effective for adults. The adolescents all began with performance in the adult range. However, while all of the adults improved across sessions, none of the 11-year-olds and only half of the 14-year-olds did. The adolescents who failed to learn did so even though the 10-session training regimen provided twice the number of sessions required by adults to reach asymptotic performance. Further, over the course of each session, the performance of the adults was stable but that of the adolescents, including those who learned, deteriorated. These results demonstrate that the processes that underlie perceptual learning can continue to develop well into adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-621
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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