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Jakob Hohwy
Monash University
  1. The Self‐Evidencing Brain.Jakob Hohwy - 2014 - Noûs 48 (1).
    An exciting theory in neuroscience is that the brain is an organ for prediction error minimization (PEM). This theory is rapidly gaining influence and is set to dominate the science of mind and brain in the years to come. PEM has extreme explanatory ambition, and profound philosophical implications. Here, I assume the theory, briefly explain it, and then I argue that PEM implies that the brain is essentially self-evidencing. This means it is imperative to identify an evidentiary boundary between the (...)
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  2. Predictive Coding Explains Binocular Rivalry: An Epistemological Review.Jakob Hohwy, Andreas Roepstorff & Karl Friston - 2008 - Cognition 108 (3):687-701.
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  3. How to Entrain Your Evil Demon.Jakob Hohwy - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    The notion that the brain is a prediction error minimizer entails, via the notion of Markov blankets and self-evidencing, a form of global scepticism — an inability to rule out evil demon scenarios. This type of scepticism is viewed by some as a sign of a fatally flawed conception of mind and cognition. Here I discuss whether this scepticism is ameliorated by acknowledging the role of action in the most ambitious approach to prediction error minimization, namely under the free energy (...)
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  4. The Neural Correlates of Consciousness: New Experimental Approaches Needed?Jakob Hohwy - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):428-438.
    It appears that consciousness science is progressing soundly, in particular in its search for the neural correlates of consciousness. There are two main approaches to this search, one is content-based (focusing on the contrast between conscious perception of, e.g., faces vs. houses), the other is state-based (focusing on overall conscious states, e.g., the contrast between dreamless sleep vs. the awake state). Methodological and conceptual considerations of a number of concrete studies show that both approaches are problematic: the content-based approach seems (...)
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  5. Functional Integration and the Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):315-328.
    Different cognitive functions recruit a number of different, often overlapping, areas of the brain. Theories in cognitive and computational neuroscience are beginning to take this kind of functional integration into account. The contributions to this special issue consider what functional integration tells us about various aspects of the mind such as perception, language, volition, agency, and reward. Here, I consider how and why functional integration may matter for the mind; I discuss a general theoretical framework, based on generative models, that (...)
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  6. Delusions, Illusions and Inference Under Uncertainty.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (1):57-71.
    Three challenges to a unified understanding of delusions emerge from Radden's On Delusion (2011). Here, I propose that in order to respond to these challenges, and to work towards a unifying framework for delusions, we should see delusions as arising in inference under uncertainty. This proposal is based on the observation that delusions in key respects are surprisingly like perceptual illusions, and it is developed further by focusing particularly on individual differences in uncertainty expectations.
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  7. Delusions as Forensically Disturbing Perceptual Inferences.Jakob Hohwy & Vivek Rajan - 2012 - Neuroethics 5 (1):5-11.
    Bortolotti’s Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs defends the view that delusions are beliefs on a continuum with other beliefs. A different view is that delusions are more like illusions, that is, they arise from faulty perception. This view, which is not targeted by the book, makes it easier to explain why delusions are so alien and disabling but needs to appeal to forensic aspects of functioning.
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  8. The Search for Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (3):461–474.
    Most consciousness researchers, almost no matter what their views of the metaphysics of consciousness, can agree that the first step in a science of consciousness is the search for the neural correlate of consciousness (the NCC). The reason for this agreement is that the notion of ‘correlation’ doesn’t by itself commit one to any particular metaphysical view about the relation between (neural) matter and consciousness. For example, some might treat the correlates as causally related, while others might view the correlation (...)
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  9. Movement Under Uncertainty: The Effects of the Rubber-Hand Illusion Vary Along the Nonclinical Autism Spectrum.Colin Palmer, Bryan Paton, Jakob Hohwy & Peter Enticott - forthcoming - Neuropsychologia.
    Recent research has begun to investigate sensory processing in relation to nonclinical variation in traits associated with the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We propose that existing accounts of autistic perception can be augmented by considering a role for individual differences in top-down expectations for the precision of sensory input, related to the processing of state-dependent levels of uncertainty. We therefore examined ASD-like traits in relation to the rubber-hand illusion: an experimental paradigm that typically elicits crossmodal integration of visual, tactile, and (...)
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  10. The Rubber Hand Illusion Reveals Proprioceptive and Sensorimotor Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders.Bryan Paton, Jakob Hohwy & Peter Enticott - 2011 - Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
    Autism spectrum disorder is characterised by differences in unimodal and multimodal sensory and proprioceptive processing, with complex biases towards local over global processing. Many of these elements are implicated in versions of the rubber hand illusion, which were therefore studied in high-functioning individuals with ASD and a typically developing control group. Both groups experienced the illusion. A number of differences were found, related to proprioception and sensorimotor processes. The ASD group showed reduced sensitivity to visuotactile-proprioceptive discrepancy but more accurate proprioception. (...)
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  11. Mind–Brain Identity and Evidential Insulation.Jakob Hohwy - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):377-395.
    Is it rational to believe that the mind is identical to the brain? Identity theorists say it is (or looks like it will be, once all the neuroscientific evidence is in), and they base this claim on a general epistemic route to belief in identity. I re-develop this general route and defend it against some objections. Then I discuss how rational belief in mind–brain identity, obtained via this route, can be threatened by an appropriately adjusted version of the anti-physicalist knowledge (...)
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  12. The Hypothesis Testing Brain: Some Philosophical Applications.Jakob Hohwy - 2010 - Proceedings of the Australian Society for Cognitive Science Conference.
    According to one theory, the brain is a sophisticated hypothesis tester: perception is Bayesian unconscious inference where the brain actively uses predictions to test, and then refine, models about what the causes of its sensory input might be. The brain’s task is simply continually to minimise prediction error. This theory, which is getting increasingly popular, holds great explanatory promise for a number of central areas of research at the intersection of philosophy and cognitive neuroscience. I show how the theory can (...)
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  13. Social Cognition as Causal Inference: Implications for Common Knowledge and Autism.Jakob Hohwy & Colin Palmer - forthcoming - In John Michael & Mattia Gallotti (eds.), Social Objects and Social Cognition. Springer.
    This chapter explores the idea that the need to establish common knowledge is one feature that makes social cognition stand apart in important ways from cognition in general. We develop this idea on the background of the claim that social cognition is nothing but a type of causal inference. We focus on autism as our test-case, and propose that a specific type of problem with common knowledge processing is implicated in challenges to social cognition in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This (...)
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  14. Skull-Bound Perception and Precision Optimization Through Culture.Bryan Paton, Josh Skewes, Chris Frith & Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):222-222.
    Clark acknowledges but resists the indirect mind–world relation inherent in prediction error minimization (PEM). But directness should also be resisted. This creates a puzzle, which calls for reconceptualization of the relation. We suggest that a causal conception captures both aspects. With this conception, aspects of situated cognition, social interaction and culture can be understood as emerging through precision optimization.
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  15. Equality, Efficiency, and Sufficiency: Responding to Multiple Parameters of Distributive Justice During Charitable Distribution.Colin J. Palmer, Bryan Paton, Linda Barclay & Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):659-674.
    Distributive justice decision making tends to require a trade off between different valued outcomes. The present study tracked computer mouse cursor movements in a forced-choice paradigm to examine for tension between different parameters of distributive justice during the decision-making process. Participants chose between set meal distributions, to third parties, that maximised either equality (the evenness of the distribution) or efficiency (the total number of meals distributed). Across different formulations of these dilemmas, responding was consistent with the notion that individuals tend (...)
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  16. Individual Differences in Moral Behaviour: A Role for Response to Risk and Uncertainty?Colin J. Palmer, Bryan Paton, Trung T. Ngo, Richard H. Thomson, Jakob Hohwy & Steven M. Miller - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (1):97-103.
    Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies (...)
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  17. The Experience of Mental Causation.Jakob Hohwy - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):377 - 400.
    Most of us have a very firm belief in mental causation; that is, we firmly believe that our own distinctly mental properties are causally efficacious in the production of our behavior. This belief is dominating in contemporary philosophy of mind as a part of the causal explanatory exclusion problem for non-reductive materialists. I do not discuss the exclusion problem; rather, I assess the conception of mental causation that is presupposed in the current debate. I propose that in order to make (...)
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  18. A Case for Increased Caution in End of Life Decisions for Disorders of Consciousness.Jakob Hohwy & David Reutens - 2009 - Monash Bioethics 28 (2):13.1-13.13.
    Disorders of consciousness include coma, the vegetative state and the minimally conscious state. Such patients are often regarded as unconscious. This has consequences for end of life decisions for these patients: it is much easier to justify withdrawing life support for unconscious than conscious patients. Recent brain imaging research has however suggested that some patients may in fact be conscious.
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