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Profile: Jakob Hohwy (Monash University)
  1. The Self‐Evidencing Brain.Jakob Hohwy - 2014 - Noûs 48 (1).
    An exciting theory in neuroscience is that the brain is an organ for prediction error minimization (PEM). This theory is rapidly gaining influence and is set to dominate the science of mind and brain in the years to come. PEM has extreme explanatory ambition, and profound philosophical implications. Here, I assume the theory, briefly explain it, and then I argue that PEM implies that the brain is essentially self-evidencing. This means it is imperative to identify an evidentiary boundary between the (...)
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  2.  31
    The Self‐Evidencing Brain.Jakob Hohwy - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):259-285.
    An exciting theory in neuroscience is that the brain is an organ for prediction error minimization. This theory is rapidly gaining influence and is set to dominate the science of mind and brain in the years to come. PEM has extreme explanatory ambition, and profound philosophical implications. Here, I assume the theory, briefly explain it, and then I argue that PEM implies that the brain is essentially self-evidencing. This means it is imperative to identify an evidentiary boundary between the brain (...)
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  3.  56
    The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
    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 (...)
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  4. Predictive Coding Explains Binocular Rivalry: An Epistemological Review.Jakob Hohwy, Andreas Roepstorff & Karl Friston - 2008 - Cognition 108 (3):687-701.
  5.  21
    Content and Misrepresentation in Hierarchical Generative Models.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - forthcoming - Synthese:1-29.
    In this paper, we consider how certain longstanding philosophical questions about mental representation may be answered on the assumption that cognitive and perceptual systems implement hierarchical generative models, such as those discussed within the prediction error minimization framework. We build on existing treatments of representation via structural resemblance, such as those in Gładziejewski :559–582, 2016) and Gładziejewski and Miłkowski, to argue for a representationalist interpretation of the PEM framework. We further motivate the proposed approach to content by arguing that it (...)
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  6.  74
    How to Entrain Your Evil Demon.Jakob Hohwy - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    The notion that the brain is a prediction error minimizer entails, via the notion of Markov blankets and self-evidencing, a form of global scepticism — an inability to rule out evil demon scenarios. This type of scepticism is viewed by some as a sign of a fatally flawed conception of mind and cognition. Here I discuss whether this scepticism is ameliorated by acknowledging the role of action in the most ambitious approach to prediction error minimization, namely under the free energy (...)
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  7.  54
    Explaining Away the Body: Experiences of Supernaturally Caused Touch and Touch on Non-Hand Objects Within the Rubber Hand Illusion.Jakob Hohwy & Bryan Paton - 2010 - PLoS ONE 5 (2):e9416.
    In rubber hand illusions and full body illusions, touch sensations are projected to non-body objects such as rubber hands, dolls or virtual bodies. The robustness, limits and further perceptual consequences of such illusions are not yet fully explored or understood. A number of experiments are reported that test the limits of a variant of the rubber hand illusion. Methodology/Principal Findings -/- A variant of the rubber hand illusion is explored, in which the real and foreign hands are aligned in personal (...)
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  8. Delusions as Forensically Disturbing Perceptual Inferences.Jakob Hohwy & Vivek Rajan - 2012 - Neuroethics 5 (1):5-11.
    Bortolotti’s Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs defends the view that delusions are beliefs on a continuum with other beliefs. A different view is that delusions are more like illusions, that is, they arise from faulty perception. This view, which is not targeted by the book, makes it easier to explain why delusions are so alien and disabling but needs to appeal to forensic aspects of functioning.
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  9.  23
    Can You Tickle Yourself If You Swap Bodies with Someone Else?George Van Doorn, Jakob Hohwy & Mark Symmons - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 23:1-11.
    The effect of the body transfer illusion on the perceived strength of self- and externally-generated “tickle” sensations was investigated. As expected, externally generated movement produced significantly higher ratings of tickliness than those associated with self-generated movements. Surprisingly, the body transfer illusion had no influence on the ratings of tickliness, suggesting that highly surprising, and therefore hard to predict, experiences of body image and first-person perspective do not abolish the attenuation of tickle sensations. In addition, evidence was found that a version (...)
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  10.  35
    The Felt Presence of Other Minds: Predictive Processing, Counterfactual Predictions, and Mentalising in Autism.Colin J. Palmer, Anil K. Seth & Jakob Hohwy - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:376-389.
  11. The Neural Correlates of Consciousness: New Experimental Approaches Needed?Jakob Hohwy - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):428-438.
    It appears that consciousness science is progressing soundly, in particular in its search for the neural correlates of consciousness. There are two main approaches to this search, one is content-based (focusing on the contrast between conscious perception of, e.g., faces vs. houses), the other is state-based (focusing on overall conscious states, e.g., the contrast between dreamless sleep vs. the awake state). Methodological and conceptual considerations of a number of concrete studies show that both approaches are problematic: the content-based approach seems (...)
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  12. Functional Integration and the Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):315-328.
    Different cognitive functions recruit a number of different, often overlapping, areas of the brain. Theories in cognitive and computational neuroscience are beginning to take this kind of functional integration into account. The contributions to this special issue consider what functional integration tells us about various aspects of the mind such as perception, language, volition, agency, and reward. Here, I consider how and why functional integration may matter for the mind; I discuss a general theoretical framework, based on generative models, that (...)
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  13. The Sense of Self in the Phenomenology of Agency and Perception.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 13.
    The phenomenology of agency and perception is probably underpinned by a common cognitive system based on generative models and predictive coding. I defend the hypothesis that this cognitive system explains core aspects of the sense of having a self in agency and perception. In particular, this cognitive model explains the phenomenological notion of a minimal self as well as a notion of the narrative self. The proposal is related to some influential studies of overall brain function, and to psychopathology. These (...)
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  14. Movement Under Uncertainty: The Effects of the Rubber-Hand Illusion Vary Along the Nonclinical Autism Spectrum.Colin Palmer, Bryan Paton, Jakob Hohwy & Peter Enticott - forthcoming - Neuropsychologia.
    Recent research has begun to investigate sensory processing in relation to nonclinical variation in traits associated with the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We propose that existing accounts of autistic perception can be augmented by considering a role for individual differences in top-down expectations for the precision of sensory input, related to the processing of state-dependent levels of uncertainty. We therefore examined ASD-like traits in relation to the rubber-hand illusion: an experimental paradigm that typically elicits crossmodal integration of visual, tactile, and (...)
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  15. The Search for Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (3):461–474.
    Most consciousness researchers, almost no matter what their views of the metaphysics of consciousness, can agree that the first step in a science of consciousness is the search for the neural correlate of consciousness (the NCC). The reason for this agreement is that the notion of ‘correlation’ doesn’t by itself commit one to any particular metaphysical view about the relation between (neural) matter and consciousness. For example, some might treat the correlates as causally related, while others might view the correlation (...)
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  16. The Rubber Hand Illusion Reveals Proprioceptive and Sensorimotor Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders.Bryan Paton, Jakob Hohwy & Peter Enticott - 2011 - Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
    Autism spectrum disorder is characterised by differences in unimodal and multimodal sensory and proprioceptive processing, with complex biases towards local over global processing. Many of these elements are implicated in versions of the rubber hand illusion, which were therefore studied in high-functioning individuals with ASD and a typically developing control group. Both groups experienced the illusion. A number of differences were found, related to proprioception and sensorimotor processes. The ASD group showed reduced sensitivity to visuotactile-proprioceptive discrepancy but more accurate proprioception. (...)
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  17. Delusions, Illusions and Inference Under Uncertainty.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (1):57-71.
    Three challenges to a unified understanding of delusions emerge from Radden's On Delusion (2011). Here, I propose that in order to respond to these challenges, and to work towards a unifying framework for delusions, we should see delusions as arising in inference under uncertainty. This proposal is based on the observation that delusions in key respects are surprisingly like perceptual illusions, and it is developed further by focusing particularly on individual differences in uncertainty expectations.
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  18. Unusual Experiences, Reality Testing and Delusions of Alien Control.Jakob Hohwy & Raben Rosenberg - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (2):141-162.
    Some monothematic types of delusions may arise because subjects have unusual experiences. The role of this experiential component in the pathogenesis of delusion is still not understood. Focussing on delusions of alien control, we outline a model for reality testing competence on unusual experiences. We propose that nascent delusions arise when there are local failures of reality testing performance, and that monothematic delusions arise as normal responses to these. In the course of this we address questions concerning the tenacity with (...)
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  19.  22
    Context Sensitivity in Action Decreases Along the Autism Spectrum: A Predictive Processing Perspective.Colin Palmer, Bryan Paton, Melissa Kirkovski, Peter Enticott & Jakob Hohwy - unknown
  20. Evidence, Explanation, and Experience.Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (5):242-254.
    Creatures that have different physical realizations than human beings may or may not be conscious. Ned Block’s ‘harder problem of consciousness’ is that naturalistic phenomenal realists have no conception of a rational ground for belief that they have or have not discovered consciousness in such a creature. Drawing on the notion of inference to the best explanation, it appears the arguments to these conclusions beg the question and ignore that explanation may be a guide to discovery. Thus, best explanation can (...)
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  21. Phenomenal Variability and Introspective Reliability.Jakob Hohwy - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (3):261-286.
    There is surprising evidence that introspection of our phenomenal states varies greatly between individuals and within the same individual over time. This puts pressure on the notion that introspection gives reliable access to our own phenomenology: introspective unreliability would explain the variability, while assuming that the underlying phenomenology is stable. I appeal to a body of neurocomputational, Bayesian theory and neuroimaging findings to provide an alternative explanation of the evidence: though some limited testing conditions can cause introspection to be unreliable, (...)
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  22. Equality, Efficiency, and Sufficiency: Responding to Multiple Parameters of Distributive Justice During Charitable Distribution.Colin Palmer, Bryan Paton, Linda Barclay & Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):659-674.
    Distributive justice decision making tends to require a trade off between different valued outcomes. The present study tracked computer mouse cursor movements in a forced-choice paradigm to examine for tension between different parameters of distributive justice during the decision-making process. Participants chose between set meal distributions, to third parties, that maximised either equality (the evenness of the distribution) or efficiency (the total number of meals distributed). Across different formulations of these dilemmas, responding was consistent with the notion that individuals tend (...)
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  23. Consciousness: Theoretical Approaches.Tim Bayne & Jakob Hohwy - unknown
    After being sorely neglected for some time, consciousness is well and truly back on the philosophical and scientific agenda. This entry provides a whistle-stop tour of some recent debates surrounding consciousness, with a particular focus on issues relevant to the scientific study of consciousness. The first half of this entry (the first to fourth sections) focuses on clarifying the explanandum of a science of consciousness and identifying constraints on an adequate account of consciousness; the second half of this entry (the (...)
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  24.  44
    Distrusting the Present.Jakob Hohwy, Bryan Paton & Colin Palmer - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (3):315-335.
    We use the hierarchical nature of Bayesian perceptual inference to explain a fundamental aspect of the temporality of experience, namely the phenomenology of temporal flow. The explanation says that the sense of temporal flow in conscious perception stems from probabilistic inference that the present cannot be trusted. The account begins by describing hierarchical inference under the notion of prediction error minimization, and exemplifies distrust of the present within bistable visual perception and action initiation. Distrust of the present is then discussed (...)
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  25. Skull-Bound Perception and Precision Optimization Through Culture.Bryan Paton, Joshua Skewes, Chris Frith & Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):222-222.
    Clark acknowledges but resists the indirect mind–world relation inherent in prediction error minimization (PEM). But directness should also be resisted. This creates a puzzle, which calls for reconceptualization of the relation. We suggest that a causal conception captures both aspects. With this conception, aspects of situated cognition, social interaction and culture can be understood as emerging through precision optimization.
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  26.  68
    Are There Levels of Consciousness?Tim Bayne, Jakob Hohwy & Adrian M. Owen - 2016 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (6):405-413.
    The notion of a level of consciousness is a key construct in the science of consciousness. Not only is the term employed to describe the global states of consciousness that are associated with post-comatose disorders, epileptic absence seizures, anaesthesia, and sleep, it plays an increasingly influential role in theoretical and methodological contexts. However, it is far from clear what precisely a level of consciousness is supposed to be. This paper argues that the levels-based framework for conceptualizing global states of consciousness (...)
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  27. Individual Differences in Moral Behaviour: A Role for Response to Risk and Uncertainty?Colin J. Palmer, Bryan Paton, Trung T. Ngo, Richard H. Thomson, Jakob Hohwy & Steven M. Miller - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (1):97-103.
    Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies (...)
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  28. Top-Down and Bottom-Up in Delusion Formation.Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 11 (1):65-70.
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  29. The Hypothesis Testing Brain: Some Philosophical Applications.Jakob Hohwy - 2010 - Proceedings of the Australian Society for Cognitive Science Conference.
    According to one theory, the brain is a sophisticated hypothesis tester: perception is Bayesian unconscious inference where the brain actively uses predictions to test, and then refine, models about what the causes of its sensory input might be. The brain’s task is simply continually to minimise prediction error. This theory, which is getting increasingly popular, holds great explanatory promise for a number of central areas of research at the intersection of philosophy and cognitive neuroscience. I show how the theory can (...)
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  30.  15
    Attenuated Self-Tickle Sensation Even Under Trajectory Perturbation.George Van Doorn, Bryan Paton, Jacqui Howell & Jakob Hohwy - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:147-153.
  31. Social Cognition as Causal Inference: Implications for Common Knowledge and Autism.Jakob Hohwy & Colin Palmer - forthcoming - In John Michael & Mattia Gallotti (eds.), Social Objects and Social Cognition. Springer.
    This chapter explores the idea that the need to establish common knowledge is one feature that makes social cognition stand apart in important ways from cognition in general. We develop this idea on the background of the claim that social cognition is nothing but a type of causal inference. We focus on autism as our test-case, and propose that a specific type of problem with common knowledge processing is implicated in challenges to social cognition in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This (...)
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  32. Can Neuroscience Explain Consciousness?Jakob Hohwy & Christopher D. Frith - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):180-198.
    Cognitive neuroscience aspires to explain how the brain produces conscious states. Many people think this aspiration is threatened by the subjective nature of introspective reports, as well as by certain philosophical arguments. We propose that good neuroscientific explanations of conscious states can consolidate an interpretation of introspective reports, in spite of their subjective nature. This is because the relative quality of explanations can be evaluated on independent, methodological grounds. To illustrate, we review studies that suggest that aspects of the feeling (...)
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  33.  33
    The Neural Correlates of Consciousness: Causes, Confounds and Constituents.Jakob Hohwy & Timothy Bayne - unknown
  34.  33
    Variability, Convergence, and Dimensions of Consciousness.Colin Klein & Jakob Hohwy - unknown
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  35.  76
    Rationality and Schizophrenic Delusion.Ian Gold & Jakob Hohwy - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (1):146-167.
    The theory of rationality has traditionally been concerned with the investigation of the norms of rational thought and behaviour, and with the reasoning procedures that satisfy them. As a consequence, the investigation of irrationality has largely been restricted to the behaviour or thought that violates these norms. There are, however, other forms of irrationality. Here we propose that the delusions that occur in schizophrenia constitute a paradigm of irrationality. We examine a leading theory of schizophrenic delusion and propose that some (...)
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  36. The Experience of Mental Causation.Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):377 - 400.
    Most of us have a very firm belief in mental causation; that is, we firmly believe that our own distinctly mental properties are causally efficacious in the production of our behavior. This belief is dominating in contemporary philosophy of mind as a part of the causal explanatory exclusion problem for non-reductive materialists. I do not discuss the exclusion problem; rather, I assess the conception of mental causation that is presupposed in the current debate. I propose that in order to make (...)
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  37. Prediction Error Minimization, Mental and Developmental Disorder, and Statistical Theories of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy - forthcoming - In Rocco Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed Consciousness: New Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness. MIT Press.
    This chapter seeks to recover an approach to consciousness from a general theory of brain function, namely the prediction error minimization theory. The way this theory applies to mental and developmental disorder demonstrates its relevance to consciousness. The resulting view is discussed in relation to a contemporary theory of consciousness, namely the idea that conscious perception depends on Bayesian metacognition; this theory is also supported by considerations of psychopathology. This Bayesian theory is first disconnected from the higher-order thought theory, and (...)
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  38. Mind–Brain Identity and Evidential Insulation.Jakob Hohwy - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):261-286.
    Is it rational to believe that the mind is identical to the brain? Identity theorists say it is (or looks like it will be, once all the neuroscientific evidence is in), and they base this claim on a general epistemic route to belief in identity. I re-develop this general route and defend it against some objections. Then I discuss how rational belief in mind–brain identity, obtained via this route, can be threatened by an appropriately adjusted version of the anti-physicalist knowledge (...)
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  39. Explanation and Two Conceptions of the Physical.Jakob Hohwy - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (1):71-89.
    Any position that promises genuine progress on the mind-body problem deserves attention. Recently, Daniel Stoljar has identified a physicalist version of Russells notion of neutral monism; he elegantly argues that with this type of physicalism it is possible to disambiguate on the notion of physicalism in such a way that the problem is resolved. The further issue then arises of whether we have reason to believe that this type of physicalism is in fact true. Ultimately, one needs to argue for (...)
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  40. A Reduction of Kripke-Wittgenstein's Objections to Dispositionalism About Meaning.Jakob Hohwy - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (2):257-68.
    A central part of Kripke's influential interpretation of Wittgenstein's sceptical argument about meaning is the rejection of dispositional analyses of what it is for a word to mean what it does (Kripke, 1982). In this paper I show that Kripke's arguments prove too much: if they were right, they would preclude not only the idea that dispositional properties can make statements about the meanings of words true, but also the idea that dispositional properties can make true statements about paradigmatic dispositional (...)
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  41.  7
    Top-Down and Bottom-Up in Delusion Formation.Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (1):65-70.
  42. A Case for Increased Caution in End of Life Decisions for Disorders of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy & David Reutens - 2009 - Monash Bioethics 28 (2):13.1-13.13.
    Disorders of consciousness include coma, the vegetative state and the minimally conscious state. Such patients are often regarded as unconscious. This has consequences for end of life decisions for these patients: it is much easier to justify withdrawing life support for unconscious than conscious patients. Recent brain imaging research has however suggested that some patients may in fact be conscious.
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  43.  2
    Can You Tickle Yourself If You Swap Bodies with Someone Else?George Van Doorn, Jakob Hohwy & Mark Symmons - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (4):1-11.
    The effect of the body transfer illusion on the perceived strength of self- and externally-generated “tickle” sensations was investigated. As expected, externally generated movement produced significantly higher ratings of tickliness than those associated with self-generated movements. Surprisingly, the body transfer illusion had no influence on the ratings of tickliness, suggesting that highly surprising, and therefore hard to predict, experiences of body image and first-person perspective do not abolish the attenuation of tickle sensations. In addition, evidence was found that a version (...)
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  44.  59
    Reflections on Predictive Processing and the Mind. An Interview.Jakob Hohwy - 2015 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies (3):145-152.
  45.  66
    Semantic Primitivism and Normativity.Jakob Hohwy - 2001 - Ratio 14 (1):1-17.
    Kripke-Wittgenstein meaning skepticism appears as a serious threat to the idea that there could be meaning-constituting facts. Some people argue that the only viable response is to adopt semantic primitivism (SP). SP is the doctrine that meaning-facts are _sui generis and irreducibly semantic. The idea is that by allowing such primitive semantic facts into our ontology Kripke's skeptical paradox cannot arise. I argue that SP is untenable in spite of its apparent resourcefulness. (edited).
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  46. Capacities, Explanation and the Possibility of Disunity.Jakob Hohwy - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):179 – 190.
    Nancy Cartwright argues that so-called capacities, not universal laws of nature, best explain the often complex way events actually unfold. On this view, science would represent a world that is fundamentally "dappled", or disunified, and not, as orthodoxy would perhaps have it, a world unified by universal laws of nature. I argue, first, that the problem Cartwright raises for laws of nature seems to arise for capacities too, so why reject laws of nature? Second, that in so far as there (...)
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  47.  39
    Privileged Self-Knowledge and Externalism: A Contextualist Approach.Jakob Hohwy - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (3):235-52.
  48. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry: Conceptual, Methodological and Philosophical Perspectives.Jakob Hohwy & Raben Rosenberg - 2005 - World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 6 (3):192-197.
    Cognitive neuropsychiatry attempts to understand psychiatric disorders as disturbances to the normal function of human cognitive organisation, and it attempts to link this functional framework to relevant brain structures and their pathology. This recent scientific discipline is the natural extension of cognitive neuroscience into the domain of psychiatry. We present two examples of recent research in cognitive neuropsychiatry: delusions of control in schizophrenia, and affective disorders. The examples demonstrate how the cognitive approach is a fruitful and necessary supplement to the (...)
     
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  49. Studies of the Neural Correlates of Consciousness Can Do Better, but Are on the Right Track.C. Frith & Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (1):45-51.
  50.  82
    Internalized Meaning Factualism.Jakob Hohwy - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (3):325-336..
    The normative character of meaning creates deep problems for the attempt to give a reductive explanation of the constitution of meaning. I identify and critically examine an increasingly popular Carnap-style position, which I call Internalized Meaning Factualism (versions of which I argue are defended by, e.g., Robert Brandom, Paul Horwich and Huw Price), that promises to solve the problems. According to this position, the problem of meaning can be solved by prohibiting an external perspective on meaning constituting properties. The idea (...)
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