Decoding the future from past experience: learning shapes predictions in early visual cortex
Journal of Neurophysiology
American Physiological Society
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Luft, C. D. B., Meeson, A., Welchman, A., & Kourtzi, Z. (2015). Decoding the future from past experience: learning shapes predictions in early visual cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113 3159-3171. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00753.2014
Learning the structure of the environment is critical for interpreting the current scene and predicting upcoming events. However, the brain mechanisms that support our ability to translate knowledge about scene statistics to sensory predictions remain largely unknown. Here, we provide evidence that learning of temporal regularities shapes representations in early visual cortex that relate to our ability to predict sensory events. We tested the participants’ ability to predict the orientation of a test stimulus following exposure to sequences of leftwards or rightwards orientated gratings. Using fMRI decoding, we identified brain patterns related to the observers’ visual predictions rather than stimulus-driven activity. Decoding of predicted orientations following structured sequences was enhanced after training, while decoding of cued orientations following exposure to random sequences did not change. These predictive representations appear to be driven by the same large-scale neural populations that encode actual stimulus orientation and to be specific to the learned sequence structure. Thus, our findings provide evidence that learning temporal structures supports our ability to predict future events by reactivating selective sensory representations as early as in primary visual cortex.
visual learning, prediction, fMRI, visual cortex, sensory processing
This work was supported by a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship to AEW (095183/Z/10/Z) and grants to ZK from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [H012508], a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (RF-2011-378) and the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ under REA grant agreement no. PITN-GA-2011-290011.
Wellcome Trust (095183/B/10/Z)
Leverhulme Trust (RF-2011-378)
European Commission (290011)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00753.2014
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/247832
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0 UK
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/