Is there a prediction network? Meta-analytic evidence for a cortical-subcortical network likely subserving prediction

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Oct:105:262-275. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.08.012. Epub 2019 Aug 19.


Predictive coding is an increasingly influential and ambitious concept in neuroscience viewing the brain as a 'hypothesis testing machine' that constantly strives to minimize prediction error, the gap between its predictions and the actual sensory input. Despite the invaluable contribution of this framework to the formulation of brain function, its neuroanatomical foundations have not been fully defined. To address this gap, we conducted activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of 39 neuroimaging studies of three functional domains (action perception, language and music) inherently involving prediction. The ALE analysis revealed a widely distributed brain network encompassing regions within the inferior and middle frontal gyri, anterior insula, premotor cortex, pre-supplementary motor area, temporoparietal junction, striatum, thalamus/subthalamus and the cerebellum. This network is proposed to subserve domain-general prediction and its relevance to motor control, attention, implicit learning and social cognition is discussed in light of the predictive coding scheme. Better understanding of the presented network may help advance treatments of neuropsychiatric conditions related to aberrant prediction processing and promote cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals.

Keywords: Action perception; Hierarchical; Language; Meta-analysis; Music; Network; Neuroimaging; Prediction; Prediction error; Predictive coding.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticipation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Music*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Subthalamus / physiology*
  • Thalamus / physiology*