The Brain as a Prediction Machine: The Key to Consciousness? - Deepstash

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When you’re a brain inside a dark skull, guessing what’s presently “out there” is a form of prediction. What happens when you believe what you predict?


The Brain as a Prediction Machine: The Key to Consciousness?

The Brain as a Prediction Machine: The Key to Consciousness?


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Psychology generally, and the scientific study of cognition more specifically, have tended until quite recently to focus more on past-oriented cognition (memory) and present

The brain evolved as an adaptation enabling organisms to better perceive and control

In attempting to resolve the seeming enigma of how the brain produces consciousness, it’s important to first understand "What Actually Is a Th...

Anil Seth, a neuroscientist at the forefront of the serious science of consciousness, explained and developed the concept of the brain as a prediction machine in his book Being You: A New Science o...

As Seth explained in his popular TED talk:

Perception—figuring out what's there—has to be a process of informed guesswork in which the brain combines these sensory signals with its prior expectations or beliefs about the way the world is to form its best guess of what caused those ...

In his book, A Thousand Brains, Jeff Hawkins elaborated on how the brain’s knowledge is stored as numerous models or maps of the world. Research by Hawkins’ group has focused on how the brain has thousands of complementary models of each object it perceives.

So how come we don’t feel like we’re composed of a thousand brains, each with their own independent little model of the world? How come our consciousness feels unified? This is known as the binding problem.

Hawkins’ “Thousand Brain Theoryproposes that the ...

Through a process akin to “voting,” the different simultaneous models established by different cortical columns encoding perceptions from different reference frames reach a “consensus” best guess (an algorithmic inference) as to what the object is that is being perceived, based on prior l...

The fact that expectations fundamentally shape perceptions and beliefs explains many of the brain’s most successful features, as well as its many problematic bugs.

Seeing is believing. But our perceptions are sometimes wrong. This may lead us to form mista...

Magicians skillfully exploit our perceptual expectations to entertain and amaze us, as do psychics—some of whom are charlatans, others are themselves true believers—victims of self-deception

Mistaken expectations play a role in many mental disorders. Anxiety and depression, the most common mental disorders, are characterized by, and s...

  • Psychology has focused a lot on how the past causes our present behavior. But the future can cause the present too, via prediction / simulation.
  • The brain is constantly making predictions. Consciousness enhances the brain's ability to form predictive...

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