Both spatial and temporal context play an important role in visual perception and behavior. Humans can extract statistical regularities from both forms of context to help process the present and to construct expectations about the future. Numerous studies have found reduced neural responses to expected stimuli compared with unexpected stimuli, for both spatial and temporal regularities. However, it is largely unclear whether and how these forms of context interact. In the current fMRI study, 33 human volunteers were exposed to pairs of object stimuli that could be expected or surprising in terms of their spatial and temporal context. We found reliable independent contributions of both spatial and temporal context in modulating the neural response. Specifically, neural responses to stimuli in expected compared with unexpected contexts were suppressed throughout the ventral visual stream. These results suggest that both spatial and temporal context may aid sensory processing in a similar fashion, providing evidence on how different types of context jointly modulate perceptual processing.

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