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  1. Going Beyond the Catch-22 of Autism Diagnosis and Research. The Moral Implications of (Not) Asking “What Is Autism?”.Jo Bervoets & Kristien Hens - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Psychiatric diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are primarily attributed on the basis of behavioral criteria. The aim of most of the biomedical research on ASD is to uncover the underlying mechanisms that lead to or even cause pathological behavior. However, in the philosophical and sociological literature, it has been suggested that autism is also to some extent a ‘social construct’ that cannot merely be reduced to its biological explanation. We show that a one-sided adherence to either a biological (...)
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  • Thinking through other minds: A variational approach to cognition and culture.Samuel P. L. Veissière, Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Karl J. Friston & Laurence J. Kirmayer - 2020 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43:1-97.
    The processes underwriting the acquisition of culture remain unclear. How are shared habits, norms, and expectations learned and maintained with precision and reliability across large-scale sociocultural ensembles? Is there a unifying account of the mechanisms involved in the acquisition of culture? Notions such as “shared expectations,” the “selective patterning of attention and behaviour,” “cultural evolution,” “cultural inheritance,” and “implicit learning” are the main candidates to underpin a unifying account of cognition and the acquisition of culture; however, their interactions require greater (...)
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  • Autism as Gradual Sensorimotor Difference: From Enactivism to Ethical Inclusion.Thomas van Es & Jo Bervoets - 2022 - Topoi 41 (2):395-407.
    Autism research is increasingly moving to a view centred around sensorimotor atypicalities instead of traditional, ethically problematical, views predicated on social-cognitive deficits. We explore how an enactivist approach to autism illuminates how social differences, stereotypically associated with autism, arise from such sensorimotor atypicalities. Indeed, in a state space description, this can be taken as a skewing of sensorimotor variables that influences social interaction and so also enculturation and habituation. We argue that this construal leads to autism being treated on a (...)
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  • Repeating patterns: Predictive processing suggests an aesthetic learning role of the basal ganglia in repetitive stereotyped behaviors.Blanca T. M. Spee, Ronald Sladky, Joerg Fingerhut, Alice Laciny, Christoph Kraus, Sidney Carls-Diamante, Christof Brücke, Matthew Pelowski & Marco Treven - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Recurrent, unvarying, and seemingly purposeless patterns of action and cognition are part of normal development, but also feature prominently in several neuropsychiatric conditions. Repetitive stereotyped behaviors can be viewed as exaggerated forms of learned habits and frequently correlate with alterations in motor, limbic, and associative basal ganglia circuits. However, it is still unclear how altered basal ganglia feedback signals actually relate to the phenomenological variability of RSBs. Why do behaviorally overlapping phenomena sometimes require different treatment approaches−for example, sensory shielding strategies (...)
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  • Grievance-fueled violence can be better understood using an enactive approach.Bram Sizoo, Derek Strijbos & Gerrit Glas - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Understanding lone actor grievance-fueled violence remains a challenge. We believe that the concept of grievance provides an opportunity to add an engaged, first-person perspective to the assessment of lone actor extreme violence. We propose an enactivist philosophical approach that can help to understand the why and how of the pathway from grievance to violent extremism. Enactivism sees grievance as a dynamic, interpersonal, and context-sensitive construct that indicates how offenders make sense of the world they live in and how under certain (...)
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  • Multiscale integration: beyond internalism and externalism.Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Michael D. Kirchhoff, Axel Constant & Karl J. Friston - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):41-70.
    We present a multiscale integrationist interpretation of the boundaries of cognitive systems, using the Markov blanket formalism of the variational free energy principle. This interpretation is intended as a corrective for the philosophical debate over internalist and externalist interpretations of cognitive boundaries; we stake out a compromise position. We first survey key principles of new radical views of cognition. We then describe an internalist interpretation premised on the Markov blanket formalism. Having reviewed these accounts, we develop our positive multiscale account. (...)
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  • Adaptive behaviour and predictive processing accounts of autism.Kelsey Perrykkad - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    Many autistic behaviours can rightly be classified as adaptive, but why these behaviours differ from adaptive neurotypical behaviours in the same environment requires explanation. I argue that predictive processing accounts best explain why autistic people engage different adaptive responses to the environment and, further, account for evidence left unexplained by the social motivation theory.
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  • Socio-Emotional Concern Dynamics in a Model of Real-Time Dyadic Interaction: Parent-Child Play in Autism.Casper Hesp, Henderien W. Steenbeek & Paul L. C. van Geert - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Representation Wars: Enacting an Armistice Through Active Inference.Axel Constant, Andy Clark & Karl J. Friston - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Over the last 30 years, representationalist and dynamicist positions in the philosophy of cognitive science have argued over whether neurocognitive processes should be viewed as representational or not. Major scientific and technological developments over the years have furnished both parties with ever more sophisticated conceptual weaponry. In recent years, an enactive generalization of predictive processing – known as active inference – has been proposed as a unifying theory of brain functions. Since then, active inference has fueled both representationalist and dynamicist (...)
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  • Regimes of Expectations: An Active Inference Model of Social Conformity and Human Decision Making.Axel Constant, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead, Samuel P. L. Veissière & Karl Friston - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • A Multi-scale View of the Emergent Complexity of Life: A Free-energy Proposal.Casper Hesp, Maxwell Ramstead, Axel Constant, Paul Badcock, Michael David Kirchhoff & Karl Friston - forthcoming - In Michael Price & John Campbell (eds.), Evolution, Development, and Complexity: Multiscale Models in Complex Adaptive Systems.
    We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biological system - from single cells to complex organisms and societies - has to limit the disorder or dispersion (i.e., the long-run entropy) of (...)
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