In normal vision, visual scenes are predictable, as they are both spatially and temporally redundant. Evidence suggests that the visual system may use the spatio-temporal regularities of the external world, available in the retinal signal, to extract information from the visual environment and better reconstruct current and future stimuli. We studied this by recording neuronal responses of primary visual cortex (area V1) in anaesthetized and paralysed macaques during the presentation of dynamic sequences of bars, in which spatio-temporal regularities and local information were independently manipulated. Most V1 neurons were significantly modulated by events prior to and distant from stimulation of their classical receptive fields (CRFs); many were more strongly tuned to prior and distant events than they were to CRFs bars; and several showed tuning to prior information without any CRF stimulation. Hence, V1 neurons do not simply analyse local contours, but impute local features to the visual world, on the basis of prior knowledge of a visual world in which useful information can be distributed widely in space and time.