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Front Neurosci. 2019 Dec 20;13:1379. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01379. eCollection 2019.

Similar Expectation Effects for Immediate and Delayed Stimulus Repetitions.

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Experimental Cognitive Science, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Biological Psychology and Cognitive Neurosciences, Institute of Psychology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany.
Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States.
Institute of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.


A prior cue or stimulus allows prediction of the future occurrence of an event and therefore reduces the associated neural activity in several cortical areas. This phenomenon is labeled expectation suppression (ES) and has recently been shown to be independent of the generally observed effects of stimulus repetitions (repetition suppression, RS: reduced neuronal response after the repetition of a given stimulus). While it has been shown that attentional cueing is strongly affected by the length of the cue-target delay, we have no information on the temporal dynamics of expectation effects, as in most prior studies of ES the delay between the predictive cue and the target (i.e., the inter-stimulus interval, ISI) was in the range of a few hundred milliseconds. Hence, we presented participants with pairs of faces where the first face could be used to build expectations regarding the second one, in the sense that one gender indicated repetition of the same face while the other gender predicted the occurrence of novel faces. In addition, we presented the stimulus pairs with two different ISIs (0.5 s for Immediate and 1.75 or 3.75 s for Delayed ISIs). We found significant RS as well as a reduced response for correctly predicted when compared to surprising trials in the fusiform face area. Importantly, the effects of repetition and expectation were both independent of the length of the ISI period. This implies that Immediate and Delayed cue-target stimulus arrangements lead to similar expectation effects in the face sensitive-visual cortex.


expectation; fMRI adaptation; inter-stimulus interval; prediction; repetition suppression

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