Learned spatiotemporal sequence recognition and prediction in primary visual cortex

Nat Neurosci. 2014 May;17(5):732-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.3683. Epub 2014 Mar 23.


Learning to recognize and predict temporal sequences is fundamental to sensory perception and is impaired in several neuropsychiatric disorders, but little is known about where and how this occurs in the brain. We discovered that repeated presentations of a visual sequence over a course of days resulted in evoked response potentiation in mouse V1 that was highly specific for stimulus order and timing. Notably, after V1 was trained to recognize a sequence, cortical activity regenerated the full sequence even when individual stimulus elements were omitted. Our results advance the understanding of how the brain makes 'intelligent guesses' on the basis of limited information to form visual percepts and suggest that it is possible to study the mechanistic basis of this high-level cognitive ability by studying low-level sensory systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Scopolamine / pharmacology
  • Serial Learning / drug effects
  • Serial Learning / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Cortex / drug effects
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / drug effects
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Piperazines
  • 3-(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)propyl-1-phosphonic acid
  • Scopolamine