Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind

Hardcover | September 30, 2015

byAndy Clark

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How is it that thoroughly physical material beings such as ourselves can think, dream, feel, create and understand ideas, theories and concepts? How does mere matter give rise to all these non-material mental states, including consciousness itself? An answer to this central question of ourexistence is emerging at the busy intersection of neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.In this groundbreaking work, philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark explores exciting new theories from these fields that reveal minds like ours to be prediction machines - devices that have evolved to anticipate the incoming streams of sensory stimulation before they arrive. Thesepredictions then initiate actions that structure our worlds and alter the very things we need to engage and predict. Clark takes us on a journey in discovering the circular causal flows and the self-structuring of the environment that define "the predictive brain." What emerges is a bold, new,cutting-edge vision that reveals the brain as our driving force in the daily surf through the waves of sensory stimulation.

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How is it that thoroughly physical material beings such as ourselves can think, dream, feel, create and understand ideas, theories and concepts? How does mere matter give rise to all these non-material mental states, including consciousness itself? An answer to this central question of ourexistence is emerging at the busy intersection ...

Andy Clark is Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, at Edinburgh University in Scotland. He is the author of Being There: Putting Brain, Body And World Together Again (1997), Mindware (OUP, 2nd Edition 2014), Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies and the Future of Human I...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:September 30, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190217014

ISBN - 13:9780190217013

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Table of Contents

Preface: Meat That PredictsAcknowledgementsIntroduction: Guessing GamesPart I: The Power of Prediction1. Prediction Machines1.1 Two Ways to Sense the Coffee1.2 Adopting the Animal's Perspective1.3 Learning in Bootstrap Heaven1.4 Multi-Level Learning1.5 Decoding Digits1.6 Dealing With Structure1.7 Predictive Processing1.8 Signaling the News1.9 Predicting Natural Scenes1.10 Binocular Rivalry1.11 Dampening and Sharpening1.12 Encoding, inference, and the Bayesian Brain1.13 Getting the Gist1.14 Predictive Processing in the Brain1.15 Is Silence Golden?1.16 Expecting Faces1.17 When Prediction Misleads1.18 Mind Turned Upside Down2. Adjusting The Volume (Noise, Signal, Attention)2.1 Signal Spotting2.2 Hearing Bing2.3 The Delicate Dance between Top-down and Bottom-up.2.4 Attention, Biased Competition, and Signal Enhancement2.5 Sensory Integration and Coupling2.6 A Taste of Action2.7 Gaze Allocation: Doing What Comes Naturally2.8 Circular Causation in the Perception-Attention-Action Loop2.9 Mutual Assured Misunderstanding2.10 Some Worries About Precision2.11 The Unexpected Elephant2.12 Some Pathologies of Precision2.13 Beyond the Spotlight3. The Imaginarium3.1 The Many Benefits of Controlled Hallucination3.2 Simple Seeing3.3 Cross-Modal and Multi-Modal effects3.4 Meta-Modal Effects3.5 Perceiving Omissions3.6 Expectations and Conscious Perception3.7 The Perceiver as Imaginer3.8 'Brain Reading' During Imagery and Perception3.9 Inside the Dream Factory3.10 PIMMS and the Past3.11 Towards Mental Time Travel3.12 A Cognitive Package DealPart II: Embodying Prediction4. Prediction for Action4.1 Staying Ahead of the Break4.2 Ticklish Tales4.3 Forward Models4.4 Optimal Feedback Control4.5 Action-oriented Predictive Processing4.6 Simplifying Control4.7 Beyond Efference Copy4.7.1 Doing Without Cost Functions4.8 Action-oriented Predictions4.9 Predictive Robotics4.10 Perception-Action-Understanding Machines5. Sculpting the Flow5.1 Double Agents5.2 Towards Maximal Context-Sensitivity5.3 Hierarchy Reconsidered5.4 Sculpting Effective Connectivity5.5 Soft Modularity5.6 Understanding Action5.7 Making Mirrors5.8 Whodunit?5.9 Robot Futures5.10 The Restless, Rapidly Responsive, Brain5.11 Precision Engineering6. Engaging the world6.1 Expecting the World6.2 Controlled Hallucinations and Virtual Realities6.3 The Surprising Scope of Structured Probabilistic Learning6.4 Sensing-Thinking-Acting6. 5 Implementing Affordance Competition6.6 Ready for Action6.7 Hello World6.8 'Not-Indirect' Perception6.9 Hallucination as Uncontrolled Perception6.10 Putting Illusions in Their Place6.11 Safer Penetration6.12 Who Estimates the Estimators?6.13 Beyond Fantasy7. Expecting Ourselves7.1 The Space of Human Experience7.2 Warning Lights7.3 The Spiral of Inference and Experience7.4 Schizophrenia and Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements7.5 Simulating Smooth Pursuit7.6 Disturbing the Network (Smooth Pursuit)7.7 Tickling Redux7.8 Less Sense, More Action7.9 Disturbing the Network (Sensory Attenuation)7.10 'Psychogenic Disorders' and Placebo Effects7.11 Disturbing the Network ('Psychogenic' Effects)7.12 Autism, Noise, and Signal7.13 Conscious Presence7.14 Emotion7.15 Fear in the Night7.16 A Nip of the Hard StuffPart III: Scaffolding Prediction8. The Lazy Predictive Brain8.1 Surface Tensions8.2 Productive Laziness8.3 Ecological Balance, and Baseball8.4 Embodied Flow8.5 Befriending the Bayesian Brain8.6 Beyond the Model-Based/Model-Free Divide8.7 Balancing Accuracy and Complexity8.8.Back to Baseball8.9 Extended Predictive Minds8.10 Escape from the Darkened Room8.11 Self-Organized Instability8.12 Fast, Cheap, but Model-Rich Too9. Being Human9.1 Putting Prediction in its Place9.2 Reprise: Self-Organizing Around Prediction Error9.3 Efficiency and " The Lord's Prior"9.4 Chaos and Spontaneous Cortical Activity9.5 Designer Environments9.6 White Lines9.7 Innovating for Innovation9.8 Words as Artificial Contexts9.9 Predicting With Others9.10 Enacting Our Worlds9.11 Representations: Breaking Good9.12 Prediction in the Wild10. The Future of Prediction10.1 Attractions10.2 Problems, Puzzles, and PitfallsAppendix 1: Bare BayesAppendix 2: The Free Energy FormulationReferencesIndex