Vision is an active process. What we perceive strongly depends on our actions, intentions and expectations. During visual processing, these internal signals therefore need to be integrated with the visual information from the retina. The mechanisms of how this is achieved by the visual system are still poorly understood. Advances in recording and manipulating neuronal activity in specific cell types and axonal projections together with tools for circuit tracing are beginning to shed light on the neuronal circuit mechanisms of how internal, contextual signals shape sensory representations. Here we review recent work, primarily in mice, that has advanced our understanding of these processes, focusing on contextual signals related to locomotion, behavioural relevance and predictions.