Predictive coding theories posit that the perceptual system is structured as a hierarchically organized set of generative models with increasingly general models at higher levels. The difference between model predictions and the actual input (prediction error) drives model selection and adaptation processes minimizing the prediction error. Event-related brain potentials elicited by sensory deviance are thought to reflect the processing of prediction error at an intermediate level in the hierarchy. We review evidence from auditory and visual studies of deviance detection suggesting that the memory representations inferred from these studies meet the criteria set for perceptual object representations. Based on this evidence we then argue that these perceptual object representations are closely related to the generative models assumed by predictive coding theories.
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