Temporal and identity prediction in visual-auditory events: Electrophysiological evidence from stimulus omissions

Thijs van Laarhoven*, J.J. Stekelenburg, J. Vroomen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
339 Downloads (Pure)


A rare omission of a sound that is predictable by anticipatory visual information induces an early negative omission response (oN1) in the EEG during the period of silence where the sound was expected. It was previously suggested that the oN1 was primarily driven by the identity of the anticipated sound. Here, we examined the role of temporal prediction in conjunction with identity prediction of the anticipated sound in the evocation of the auditory oN1. With incongruent audiovisual stimuli (a video of a handclap that is consistently combined with the sound of a car horn) we demonstrate in Experiment 1 that a natural match in identity between the visual and auditory stimulus is not required for inducing the oN1, and that the perceptual system can adapt predictions to unnatural stimulus events. In Experiment 2 we varied either the auditory onset (relative to the visual onset) or the identity of the sound across trials in order to hamper temporal and identity predictions. Relative to the natural stimulus with correct auditory timing and matching audiovisual identity, the oN1 was abolished when either the timing or the identity of the sound could not be predicted reliably from the video. Our study demonstrates the flexibility of the perceptual system in predictive processing (Experiment 1) and also shows that precise predictions of timing and content are both essential elements for inducing an oN1 (Experiment 2).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Stimulus omission
  • Predictive coding
  • Event-related potentials
  • Visual-auditory


Dive into the research topics of 'Temporal and identity prediction in visual-auditory events: Electrophysiological evidence from stimulus omissions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this