In Oracle 10g, when we see the explain plan for a SQL, then there are 2 new items that are of interest - the 'Access predicate' and the 'Filter predicate'.
We know that depending on the predicate information ('where clause') the Oracle optimizer chooses the optimal path for executing the query.
So the 'access predicate' information tells us how the Oracle optimiser is accessing the rows of the table - i.e. if the optimizer is using an index, then what predicate made it use the same.
The 'filter predicate' tells us what criteria Oracle is using to filter rows from the returned rowset (the rowset was fetched based on the 'access predicate') .