SBRI Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute - France (Lyon)

CORTEX conference by Floris De Lange

Date event : February 22, 2019 - 11:00am Conference / Talk Published on 02/11/2019 - 10:05am

How are priors and likelihood combined in the sensory brain?


Floris De Lange

Donders Institute for Brain


Perception and perceptual decision-making are strongly facilitated by prior knowledge about the probabilistic structure of the world. While the computational benefits of using prior expectation in perception are clear, there are myriad ways in which this computation can be realized. In my talk, I will discuss recent observations from my lab into how this process may be neurally implemented. Specifically, I will: 1) provide evidence for the separation of priors and likelihood in different layers of the cortex; 2) examine the integration of priors and likelihood in the context of the word superiority effect; 3) show that attention mediates this balance by increasing, rather than reducing, the effect of priors.

Further reading:
• de Lange FP, Heilbron M, Kok P (2018). How Do Expectations Shape Perception? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 22, 764-779.
• Richter D, Ekman M, de Lange FP (2018). Suppressed Sensory Response to Predictable Object Stimuli throughout the Ventral Visual Stream. Journal of Neuroscience 38, 7452-7461
Papers can be downloaded from


Friday February 22nd, 11am, ISC Conference room.

Invited by Mathilde Bonnefond