The Predictive Mind
A new theory is taking hold in neuroscience. It is the theory that the brain is essentially a hypothesis-testing mechanism, one that attempts to minimise the error of its predictions about the sensory input it receives from the world. It is an attractive theory because powerful theoretical arguments support it, and yet it is at heart stunningly simple. Jakob Hohwy explains and explores this theory from the perspective of cognitive science and philosophy. The key argument throughout The Predictive Mind is that the mechanism explains the rich, deep, and multifaceted character of our conscious perception. It also gives a unified account of how perception is sculpted by attention, and how it depends on action. The mind is revealed as having a fragile and indirect relation to the world. Though we are deeply in tune with the world we are also strangely distanced from it. The first part of the book sets out how the theory enables rich, layered perception. The theory's probabilistic and statistical foundations are explained using examples from empirical research and analogies to different forms of inference. The second part uses the simple mechanism in an explanation of problematic cases of how we manage to represent, and sometimes misrepresent, the world in health as well as in mental illness. The third part looks into the mind, and shows how the theory accounts for attention, conscious unity, introspection, self and the privacy of our mental world.
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active inference aspects attention autism Bayes Bayesian Bayesian inference binding binding problem binocular rivalry bottom-up bound on surprise brain causal inference causal structure Chapter cognitive penetrability conception conscious experience conscious perception consider direction of fit discussion error minimization framework error minimization mechanism error minimization scheme estimates evidence example expected precisions explain Figure Friston global happens Helmholtz hidden causes Hohwy hypothesis idea inattentional blindness inferential interactions internal model interoceptive introspection kind learning levels low-level mental Metzinger mind minimize prediction error misperception Müller-Lyer illusion mutual information neuronal noise notion object one’s overall perceive perception and action perceptual content perceptual experience perceptual hierarchy perceptual inference posterior probability precision optimization prediction error minimization prior beliefs prior probability problem of perception proprioceptive reality testing regularities relation representation role rubber hand illusion seems sense sensory attributes sensory input signal spatiotemporal statistical theory things top-down uncertainty unified visual