Consciousness and Cognition 47:99-112 (2017)

Sina Fazelpour
Northeastern University
Christopher Mole
University of British Columbia
Madeleine Ransom
University of British Columbia, Okanagan
It has recently become popular to suggest that cognition can be explained as a process of Bayesian prediction error minimization. Some advocates of this view propose that attention should be understood as the optimization of expected precisions in the prediction-error signal (Clark, 2013, 2016; Feldman & Friston, 2010; Hohwy, 2012, 2013). This proposal successfully accounts for several attention-related phenomena. We claim that it cannot account for all of them, since there are certain forms of voluntary attention that it cannot accommodate. We therefore suggest that, although the theory of Bayesian prediction error minimization introduces some powerful tools for the explanation of mental phenomena, its advocates have been wrong to claim that Bayesian prediction error minimization is ‘all the brain ever does’.
Keywords Prediction-error coding  Attention  Voluntary attention  Perception  Hohwy
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2016.06.011
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Cognitive Penetration and Attention.Steven Gross - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8:1-12.
Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Can Hierarchical Predictive Coding Explain Binocular Rivalry?Julia Haas - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (3):424-444.
Predictions, Precision, and Agentive Attention.Andy Clark - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 56:115-119.
The Many Faces of Attention: Why Precision Optimization is Not Attention.Madeleine Ransom & Sina Fazelpour - 2020 - In Dina Mendonça, José Manuel Robalo Curado & Steven Gouveia (eds.), The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing. London, UK: pp. 119-139.

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