Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 5-23-2019


Halvorsen, A. (2019). Changes in hemodynamic response to faces, scenes, and objects in a visual statistical learning task: An fMRI analysis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Digital Commons.


Copyright Aaron Halvorsen 2019


Learning causes changes in brain activity and neural connections. Statistical learning is an implicit learning process that involves extracting regularities from the environment and finding patterns in stimuli based on their transitional probabilities. The following study describes an attempt to elucidate temporal changes in hemodynamic activity for three category-specific brain areas using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Blood oxygen-level dependent signal (BOLD) responses were collected while subjects viewed faces, scenes, and objects with high and low transitional probabilities in an fMRI scanner. We expected brain activity to show a temporal shift in timing of activation when comparing BOLD signal responses before and after visual statistical learning. Instead, a general, yet insignificant, trend in the magnitude of activation was found. Although these findings suggest category-specific brain areas may undergo magnitude changes in activation for item-specific stimuli in response to visual statistical learning, further confirmatory analyses and comparisons to behavioral data are needed.