•  222
    Conscious self-evidencing
    Review of Psychology and Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Self-evidencing describes the purported predictive processing of all self-organising systems, whether conscious or not. Self-evidencing in itself is therefore not sufficient for consciousness. Different systems may however be capable of self-evidencing in different, specific and distinct ways. Some of these ways of self-evidencing can be matched up with, and explain, several properties of consciousness. This carves out a distinction in nature between those systems that are conscious, as describe…Read more
  •  18
    The effect of uncertainty on prediction error in the action perception loop
    with Kelsey Perrykkad, Rebecca P. Lawson, and Sharna Jamadar
    Cognition 210 104598. 2021.
    Among all their sensations, agents need to distinguish between those caused by themselves and those caused by external causes. The ability to infer agency is particularly challenging under conditions of uncertainty. Within the predictive processing framework, this should happen through active control of prediction error that closes the action-perception loop. Here we use a novel, temporally-sensitive, behavioural proxy for prediction error to show that it is minimised most quickly when volatilit…Read more
  •  15
    Predictive processing as a systematic basis for identifying the neural correlates of consciousness
    with Anil Seth
    Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (II). 2020.
    The search for the neural correlates of consciousness is in need of a systematic, principled foundation that can endow putative neural correlates with greater predictive and explanatory value. Here, we propose the predictive processing framework for brain function as a promising candidate for providing this systematic foundation. The proposal is motivated by that framework’s ability to address three general challenges to identifying the neural correlates of consciousness, and to satisfy two cons…Read more
  •  26
    At present, the science of consciousness is structured around the search for the neural correlates of consciousness. One of the alleged advantages of the NCCs framework is its metaphysical neutrality—the fact that it begs no contested questions with respect to debates about the fundamental nature of consciousness. Here, we argue that even if the NCC framework is metaphysically neutral, it is structurally committed, for it presupposes a certain model—what we call the Lite-Brite model—of conscious…Read more
  •  20
    Events and Machine Learning
    with Augustus Hebblewhite and Tom Drummond
    Wiley: Topics in Cognitive Science 13 (1): 243-247. 2021.
    Topics in Cognitive Science, Volume 13, Issue 1, Page 243-247, January 2021.
  •  5
    Tracking the Influence of Predictive Cues on the Evaluation of Food Images: Volatility Enables Nudging
    with Kajornvut Ounjai, Lalida Suppaso, and Johan Lauwereyns
    Frontiers in Psychology 11. 2020.
  •  18
    What is the function of cognition? On one influential account, cognition evolved to co-ordinate behaviour with environmental change or complexity. Liberal interpretations of this view ascribe cognition to an extraordinarily broad set of biological systems—even bacteria, which modulate their activity in response to salient external cues, would seem to qualify as cognitive agents. However, equating cognition with adaptive flexibility per se glosses over important distinctions in the way biological…Read more
  •  16
    The free energy principle says that any self-organising system that is at nonequilibrium steady-state with its environment must minimize its free energy. It is proposed as a grand unifying principle for cognitive science and biology. The principle can appear cryptic, esoteric, too ambitious, and unfalsifiable—suggesting it would be best to suspend any belief in the principle, and instead focus on individual, more concrete and falsifiable ‘process theories’ for particular biological processes and…Read more
  •  70
    New directions in predictive processing
    Mind and Language 35 (2): 209-223. 2020.
    Predictive processing (PP) is now a prominent theoretical framework in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. This review focuses on PP research with a relatively philosophical focus, taking stock of the framework and discussing new directions. The review contains an introduction that describes the full PP toolbox; an exploration of areas where PP has advanced understanding of perceptual and cognitive phenomena; a discussion of PP's impact on foundational issues in cognitive science; and …Read more
  •  21
    Events, Event Prediction, and Predictive Processing
    with Augustus Hebblewhite and Tom Drummond
    Wiley: Topics in Cognitive Science 13 (1): 252-255. 2021.
    Events and event prediction are pivotal concepts across much of cognitive science, as demonstrated by the papers in this special issue. We first discuss how the study of events and the predictive processing framework may fruitfully inform each other. We then briefly point to some links to broader philosophical questions about events.
  •  11
    There is a view on consciousness that has strong intuitive appeal and empirical support: the intermediate-level theory of consciousness, proposed mainly by Ray Jackendoff and by Jesse Prinz. This theory identifies a specific “intermediate” level of representation as the basis of human phenomenal consciousness, which sits between high-level non-perspectival thought processes and low-level disjointed feature-detection processes in the perceptual and cognitive processing hierarchy. In this article,…Read more
  •  1
    This chapter focuses on what’s novel in the perspective that the prediction error minimization (PEM) framework affords on the cognitive-scientific project of explaining intelligence by appeal to internal representations. It shows how truth-conditional and resemblance-based approaches to representation in generative models may be integrated. The PEM framework in cognitive science is an approach to cognition and perception centered on a simple idea: organisms represent the world by constantly pred…Read more
  •  5
    Reflections on predictive processing and the mind. Interview with Jakob Hohwy
    Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 5 (3): 145-152. 2014.
  •  21
    Phenomenology and Cognitive Science: Don’t Fear the Reductionist Bogey-man
    Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (2): 138-144. 2018.
    Shaun Gallagher calls for a radical rethinking of the concept of nature and he resists reduction of phenomenology to computational-neural science. However, classic, reductionist science, at least in contemporary computational guise, has the resources to accommodate insights from transcendental phenomenology. Reductionism should be embraced, not feared.
  •  33
    Bayes, time perception, and relativity: The central role of hopelessness
    with Lachlan Kent, George van Doorn, and Britt Klein
    Consciousness and Cognition 69 70-80. 2019.
  •  52
    Can the free energy principle be used to generate a theory of consciousness?
    with Tononi Guilio, Seth Anil, and Tsuchiya Naotsugu
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9. 2015.
  •  23
    Autism and the sensorimotor effects of the Rubber-Hand Illusion
    with Palmer Colin, Paton Bryan, Kirkovski Melissa, and Enticott Peter
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9. 2015.
  •  421
    Mind–brain identity and evidential insulation
    Philosophical Studies 153 (3): 377-395. 2011.
    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 argument. …Read more
  •  33
    Response to Fazekas and Overgaard: Degrees and Levels
    with Tim Bayne and Adrian M. Owen
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (10): 716-717. 2016.
  •  317
    How to entrain your evil demon
    Philosophy and Predictive Processing. 2017.
    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 principle. …Read more
  •  113
    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 interpretatio…Read more
  •  2825
    The Self‐Evidencing Brain
    Noûs 48 (1). 2014.
    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…Read more
  •  143
    Phenomenal Variability and Introspective Reliability
    Mind and Language 26 (3): 261-286. 2011.
    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 ev…Read more
  •  30
    Can you tickle yourself if you swap bodies with someone else?
    with George Van Doorn and Mark Symmons
    Consciousness and Cognition 23 1-11. 2014.
    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 n…Read more
  •  106
    Internalized meaning factualism
    Philosophia 34 (3). 2006.
    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 o…Read more
  •  1371
    Delusions, Illusions and Inference under Uncertainty
    Mind and Language 28 (1): 57-71. 2013.
    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 expect…Read more
  •  37
    Consciousness. We have come to expect science to be able to explain all sorts of phenomena in the world (global warming, hereditary diseases, life – you name it). Consciousness is an anomaly in the success story of science for there is a real question whether science, in particular neuroscience, can explain much about what consciousness is. A good question to ask is how and to what extent consciousness resists scientific explanation. That might tell us something about what is special about consc…Read more