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

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):181-204 (2013)
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
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X12000477
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References found in this work BETA
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.

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Citations of this work BETA
Interoceptive Inference, Emotion, and the Embodied Self.A. K. Seth - 2013 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (11):565-573.
The Self‐Evidencing Brain.Jakob Hohwy - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):259-285.

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