Goldstone, R. L., Braithwaite, D. W., & Byrge, L. A. (2012). Perceptual learning. In N. M. Seel (Ed.) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Heidelberg, German: Springer Verlag GmbH. (pp. 2616-2619).
Perceptual learning consists of long-lasting changes to an organismʼs perceptual system that improve its ability to respond to its environment in specific ways. These changes persist over time; more ephemeral perceptual changes are typically considered to be adaptation, attentional processes, or strategy shifts, rather than perceptual learning. These changes are due to environmental inputs; perceptual changes not coupled to the environment are considered maturation, rather than learning. Perceptual learning benefits an organism by tailoring the processes that gather information to the organismʼs needs for and uses of information.