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  1. When the environment changes, vision adapts to maintain accurate perception. For repeatedly encountered environments, learning to adjust more rapidly would be beneficial, but past work remains inconclusive. We tested if the visual system can learn such visual mode switching for a strongly color-tinted environment, where adaptation causes the dominant hue to fade over time. Eleven observers wore bright red glasses for five 1-hr periods per day, for 5 days. Color adaptation was measured by asking observers to identify ‘unique yellow’, appearing neither reddish nor greenish. As expected, the world appeared less and less reddish during the 1-hr periods of glasses wear. Critically, across days the world also appeared significantly less reddish immediately upon donning the glasses. These results indicate that the visual system learned to rapidly adjust to the reddish environment, switching modes to stabilize color vision. Mode switching likely provides a general strategy to optimize perceptual processes. 
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  2. The visual system adapts to the environment, changing neural responses to aid efficiency and improve perception. However, these changes sometimes lead to negative consequences: If neurons at later processing stages fail to account for adaptation at earlier stages, perceptual errors result, including common visual illusions. These negative effects of adaptation have been termed the coding catastrophe. How does the visual system resolve them? We hypothesized that higher-level adaptation can correct errors arising from the coding catastrophe by changing what appears normal, a common form of adaptation across domains. Observers ( N = 15) viewed flickering checkerboards that caused a normal face to appear distorted. We tested whether the visual system can adapt to this adaptation-distorted face through repeated viewing. Results from two experiments show that such meta-adaptation does occur and that it makes the distorted face gradually appear more normal. Meta-adaptation may be a general strategy to correct negative consequences of low-level adaptation. 
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  3. Greenlee, Mark W. (Ed.)
  4. Augmented reality (AR) has developed rapidly since its conception less than 30 years ago and is now a hot topic for both consumers and scientists. Although much attention has been paid to its application in industry, medicine, education, and entertainment, the use of AR in psychological research has been less noted. In this article, we survey recent progress in basic research that uses AR to explore the plasticity of the adult visual system. We focus on a particular application of AR called altered reality, which has been used to shed new light on mechanisms of long-term contrast adaptation and ocular-dominance plasticity. The results suggest that AR could also be a useful tool for the treatment of visual disorders. 
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