Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):181-204 (2013)
Authors
Andy Clark
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
Brains, it has recently been argued, are essentially prediction machines. They are bundles of cells that support perception and action by constantly attempting to match incoming sensory inputs with top-down expectations or predictions. This is achieved using a hierarchical generative model that aims to minimize prediction error within a bidirectional cascade of cortical processing. Such accounts offer a unifying model of perception and action, illuminate the functional role of attention, and may neatly capture the special contribution of cortical processing to adaptive success. This target article critically examines this approach, concluding that it offers the best clue yet to the shape of a unified science of mind and action. Sections 1 and 2 lay out the key elements and implications of the approach. Section 3 explores a variety of pitfalls and challenges, spanning the evidential, the methodological, and the more properly conceptual. The paper ends (sections 4 and 5) by asking how such approaches might impact our more general vision of mind, experience, and agency.
Keywords action   attention   Bayesian brain   expectation   generative model   hierarchy   perception   precision   predictive coding   prediction   prediction error   top-down processing
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0140525X12000477
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,507
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Interoceptive Inference, Emotion, and the Embodied Self.A. K. Seth - 2013 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (11):565-573.

View all 177 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Self as an Embedded Agent.Chris Dobbyn & Susan A. J. Stuart - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (2):187-201.
Situated Cognition.Peter Slezak - 1999 - Perspectives on Cognitive Science.
How to Situate Cognition: Letting Nature Take its Course.Robert A. Wilson & Andy Clark - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 55--77.
Useful Theories Make Predictions.Andrew Howes - 2012 - Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):84-86.
Psychology in Cognitive Science: 1978–2038.Dedre Gentner - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):328-344.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-21

Total downloads
273 ( #15,704 of 2,268,146 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
24 ( #16,190 of 2,268,146 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature