Monday, November 1, 2010

More from the Andy Clark News Service


"Whatever Next? Predictive Brains, Situated Agents, and the Future of Cognitive Science"

Professor Andy Clark (University of Edinburgh)
Monday November 8, at 2.30 pmRoom 102University of Milan, via Festa del Perdono 3

Brains, according to an increasingly influential research program in computational neuroscience, are essentially prediction machines. They are bundles of cells whose evolved role is to enable the right action to occur at the right time, and this is achieved by minimizing prediction error (thus minimizing informational surprise) within a hierarchy of cortical processing regions. This "hierarchical prediction machine" approach yields a unifying model of perception and action, and may neatly capture the special contribution of neural processing to adaptive success. In this talk, I first lay out the key elements of this approach, while noting some potentially problematic elements along the way. Putting the problems aside, I then ask what such a model would imply for our general vision of brains, minds, and situated agents

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