The Predictive Mind

Paperback | December 28, 2013

byJakob Hohwy

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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 theoreticalarguments 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 ourconscious 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 explanationof 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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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 theoreticalarguments support it, and yet it is at heart st...

Jakob Hohwy is a philosopher engaged in both conceptual and experimental research. He works on problems in philosophy of mind about perception, neuroscience, and mental illness. At the same time, he collaborates with neuroscientists and psychiatrists, conducting experiments that put philosophical ideas to the test and that bring philo...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:December 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199686734

ISBN - 13:9780199686735

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart I: The Mechanism1. Perception as causal inference2. Prediction error minimisation3. Prediction error, context, and precision4. Action and expected experiencePart II: The World5. Binding is inference6. Is predicting seeing?7. Precarious prediction8. Surprise and misrepresentationPart III: The Mind9. Precision, attention, and consciousness10. Perceptual unity in action11. The fragile mirror of nature12. Into the predictive mindConcluding remarks: The mind in predictionAcknowledgementsBibliographyIndex