Researchers from McMaster University found that when individuals use perceptual learning they are able to recall very specific information from what they learned one to two years earlier. The team of researchers defined perceptual learning as using visual and abstract patterns.
In order to arrive at this conclusion, researchers asked participants to identify one specific face in a large pattern, which could prove to be a difficult task. However, these individuals improved in doing so as they continued to practice. Then, about one year later, these people were asked to come back and complete the same task again, as well as a new version of the assignment.
The researchers found that when the participants finished the original task a second time, they were able to do so with as much accuracy as they had a year earlier. However, they struggled to complete the new assignment even though it was very similar.
Allison Sekuler, co-author of the study, said that the results show that the human brain is able to hold onto specific information, which may be helpful in creating brain training exercises in the future.