Visual prediction and perceptual expertise

Olivia S. Cheung, Moshe Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Making accurate predictions about what may happen in the environment requires analogies between perceptual input and associations in memory. These elements of predictions are based on cortical representations, but little is known about how these processes can be enhanced by experience and training. On the other hand, studies on perceptual expertise have revealed that the acquisition of expertise leads to strengthened associative processing among features or objects, suggesting that predictions and expertise may be tightly connected. Here we review the behavioral and neural findings regarding the mechanisms involving prediction and expert processing, and highlight important possible overlaps between them. Future investigation should examine the relations among perception, memory and prediction skills as a function of expertise. The knowledge gained by this line of research will have implications for visual cognition research, and will advance our understanding of how the human brain can improve its ability to predict by learning from experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NEI-NIH grant 1R01EY019477-01 , NSF grant BCS-0842947 , and DARPA grant N10AP20036 . We thank Daryl Fougnie, Eiran Vadim Harel and Tomer Livne for helpful comments on the manuscript.


  • Anticipation
  • Expectation
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Top-down processing


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