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Perceptual learning as optimized decoding: from maps to mechanisms

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 DecodePL project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the DecodePL project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "DecodePL" about.

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Project "DecodePL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Robert-Koch-Strasse 40
postcode: 37075
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 171˙460 €
 EC max contribution 171˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-RI
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2018-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

We usually think that as we emerge from childhood, our brains become less plastic, making learning effortful and highly specific. Recent findings however challenge this view, suggesting that even adult perceptual learning (PL), often considered the most specific form of learning, has the potential to generalize across training conditions. This questions classical theories positing that PL changes encoding in early sensory areas, as the functional properties of these areas cannot account for generalization. Building on recent computational models, I propose instead that PL relates to decoding, that is, how information from sensory areas is communicated and read out by higher areas to make decisions, because readout weights can be more flexibly adjusted and accommodate generalization. Decoding accounts are theoretically attractive yet technically challenging to test, as they require a multiscale brain investigation, i.e., tracking PL across networks, areas, and single neurons. I will address these theoretical and technical challenges by capitalizing on a recent innovation combining noninvasive neuroimaging with electrophysiological recordings while monkeys learn a discrimination task. This approach will allow for the first time to create a comprehensive map of brain areas involved in PL in monkeys, determine the involvement of connectivity changes to PL, and unravel the computations that the neurons in these specific areas perform. This project, at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and computational theory, will set forth the foundations for a mechanistic investigation of PL at an unprecedented level of detail, bridging multiple scales from whole-brain networks down to single neurons, and will therefore allow me to start a competitive scientific career as an independent researcher. Ultimately, this innovative framework will help us understand the building blocks of adult brain plasticity, and how to optimize rehabilitation and educational applications.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Gorman A, Deh K, Schwiedrzik CM, White J, Groman EV, Fisher C, McCabe Gillen K, Spincemaille P, Rasmussen S, Prince MR, Voss HU, Freiwald WA, Wang Y
Brain Iron Distribution after Multiple Doses of Ultra-small Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Particles in Rats
published pages: 139-147, ISSN: 1532-0820, DOI:
Comparative Medicine 68/2 2019-05-13
2018 Schwiedrzik, C.; Melloni, L.; Schurger, A.
Mooney face stimuli for visual perception research
published pages: e0200106, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200106
PLoS ONE 13/7 2019-05-13
2018 Ryszard Auksztulewicz, Caspar M. Schwiedrzik, Thomas Thesen, Werner Doyle, Orrin Devinsky, Anna C. Nobre, Charles E. Schroeder, Karl J. Friston, Lucia Melloni
Not All Predictions Are Equal: “What” and “When” Predictions Modulate Activity in Auditory Cortex through Different Mechanisms
published pages: 8680-8693, ISSN: 0270-6474, DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.0369-18.2018
The Journal of Neuroscience 38/40 2019-05-13
2017 Caspar M. Schwiedrzik, Winrich A. Freiwald
High-Level Prediction Signals in a Low-Level Area of the Macaque Face-Processing Hierarchy
published pages: 89-97.e4, ISSN: 0896-6273, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.007
Neuron 96/1 2019-05-13
2018 Caspar M. Schwiedrzik, Sandrin S. Sudmann, Thomas Thesen, Xiuyuan Wang, David M. Groppe, Pierre Mégevand, Werner Doyle, Ashesh D. Mehta, Orrin Devinsky, Lucia Melloni
Medial prefrontal cortex supports perceptual memory
published pages: R1094-R1095, ISSN: 0960-9822, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.07.066
Current Biology 28/18 2019-05-13

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