Predictive Processing and the Phenomenology of Time Consciousness: A Hierarchical Extension of Rick Grush’s Trajectory Estimation Model

Philosophy and Predictive Processing (2017)
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Abstract
This chapter explores to what extent some core ideas of predictive processing can be applied to the phenomenology of time consciousness. The focus is on the experienced continuity of consciously perceived, temporally extended phenomena (such as enduring processes and successions of events). The main claim is that the hierarchy of representations posited by hierarchical predictive processing models can contribute to a deepened understanding of the continuity of consciousness. Computationally, such models show that sequences of events can be represented as states of a hierarchy of dynamical systems. Phenomenologically, they suggest a more fine-grained analysis of the perceptual contents of the specious present, in terms of a hierarchy of temporal wholes. Visual perception of static scenes not only contains perceived objects and regions but also spatial gist; similarly, auditory perception of temporal sequences, such as melodies, involves not only perceiving individual notes but also slightly more abstract features (temporal gist), which have longer temporal durations (e.g., emotional character or rhythm). Further investigations into these elusive contents of conscious perception may be facilitated by findings regarding its neural underpinnings. Predictive processing models suggest that sensorimotor areas may influence these contents.
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Archival date: 2017-07-07
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2017-07-07

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