Skip to main content Accessibility help

Are we predictive engines? Perils, prospects, and the puzzle of the porous perceiver

  • Andy Clark (a1)


The target article sketched and explored a mechanism (action-oriented predictive processing) most plausibly associated with core forms of cortical processing. In assessing the attractions and pitfalls of the proposal we should keep that element distinct from larger, though interlocking, issues concerning the nature of adaptive organization in general.



Hide All
Barrett, L. F. & Bar, M. (2009) See it with feeling: Affective predictions during object perception. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 364(1521):1325–34.
Bengio, Y. (2009) Learning deep architectures for AI. Foundations and Trends in Machine Learning 2(1):1127.
Brayanov, J. B. & Smith, M. A. (2010) Bayesian and “anti-Bayesian” biases in sensory integration for action and perception in the size–weight illusion. Journal of Neurophysiology 103(3):1518–31.
Carrasco, M., Ling, S. & Read, S. (2004) Attention alters appearance. Nature Neuroscience 7:308–13.
Churchland, P. M. (1989) The neurocomputational perspective. MIT/Bradford Books.
Churchland, P. M. (2012) Plato's camera: How the physical brain captures a landscape of abstract universals. MIT Press.
Clark, A. (1989) Microcognition: Philosophy, cognitive science and parallel distributed processing. MIT Press/Bradford Books.
Clark, A. (1993) Minimal rationalism. Mind 102(408):587610.
Clark, A. (2006a) Language, embodiment and the cognitive niche. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10(8):370–74.
Clark, A (2008) Supersizing the mind: Action, embodiment, and cognitive extension. Oxford University Press.
Clark, A. (2012) Dreaming the whole cat: Generative models, predictive processing, and the enactivist conception of perceptual experience. Mind 121(483):753–71.
Clark, A. (forthcoming) Perceiving as predicting, In: Perception and its modalities, ed. Mohan, M., Biggs, S. & Stokes, D.. Oxford University Press.
Clark, A. & Thornton, C. (1997) Trading spaces: Computation, representation, and the limits of uninformed learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20(1):5766.
Dayan, P., Hinton, G. E. & Neal, R. M. (1995) The Helmholtz machine. Neural Computation 7:889904.
Dennett, D. C. (2009) Darwin's “Strange Inversion of Reasoning”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106 (Suppl. 1):10061–65.
den Ouden, H. E. M., Daunizeau, J., Roiser, J., Friston, K. J. & Stephan, K. E. (2010) Striatal prediction error modulates cortical coupling. Journal of Neuroscience 30:3210–19.
den Ouden, H. E. M, Friston, K. J., Daw, N. D., McIntosh, A. R. & Stephan, K. E. (2009) A dual role for prediction error in associative learning. Cerebral Cortex 19:1175–85.
Egner, T., Monti, J. M. & Summerfield, C. (2010) Expectation and surprise determine neural population responses in the ventral visual stream. Journal of Neuroscience 30(49):16601–608.
Eliades, S. J. & Wang, X. (2008) Neural substrates of vocalization feedback monitoring in primate auditory cortex. Nature 453:1102–106.
Feldman, H. & Friston, K. J. (2010) Attention, uncertainty, and free-energy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 4:215. doi:10.3389/fnmuh.2010.00215.
Friston, K. (2005) A theory of cortical responses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 360(1456):815–36.
Friston, K. (2011a) Embodied inference: Or I think therefore I am, if I am what I think. In: The implications of embodiment (Cognition and Communication), ed. Tschacher, W. & Bergomi, C., pp. 89125. Imprint Academic.
Friston, K. (2011b) What is optimal about motor control? Neuron 72:488–98.
Friston, K., Adams, R. A., Perrinet, L. & Breakspear, M. (2012) Perceptions as hypotheses: Saccades as experiments. Frontiers in Psychology 3:151. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00151.
Friston, K. & Kiebel, S. (2009) Cortical circuits for perceptual inference. Neural Networks 22:1093–104.
Frith, C. D. & Wentzer, T. S. (in press) Neural hermeneutics. In: Encyclopedia of philosophy and the social sciences, vol. 1, ed. Kaldis, B.. Sage.
Glimcher, P. (2010) Foundations of neuroeconomic analysis. Oxford University Press.
Hinton, G. E. & Nair, V. (2006) Inferring motor programs from images of handwritten digits. In: Advances in neural information processing systems 18: Proceedings of the 2005 NIPS Conference, ed. Weiss, Y., Scholkopf, B. & Platt, J., pp. 515–22. MIT Press.
Hohwy, J. (2012) Attention and conscious perception in the hypothesis testing brain. Frontiers in Psychology 3:96, 114. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00096.
Hutchins, E. (1995) Cognition in the wild. MIT Press.
Kay, J. & Phillips, W. A. (2010) Coherent Infomax as a computational goal for neural systems. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 73:344–72. doi: 10.1007/s11538-010-9564-x.
Keller, G. B., Bonhoeffer, T. & Hubener, M. (2012) Sensorimotor mismatch signals in primary visual cortex of the behaving mouse. Neuron 74:809–15.
Kok, P., Rahnev, D., Jehee, J. F., Lau, H. C. & de Lange, F. P. (2011) Attention reverses the effect of prediction in silencing sensory signals. Cerebral Cortex 22:2197–206.
Lee, D. & Wang, X.-J. (2009) Mechanisms for stochastic decision making in the primate frontal cortex: Single-neuron recording and circuit modeling. In: Neuroeconomics: Decision making and the brain, ed. Glimcher, P., Camerer, C., Fehr, E. & Poldrack, R., pp. 481501. Elsevier.
Meyer, T. & Olson, C. R. (2011) Statistical learning of visual transitions in monkey inferotemporal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108:19401–406.
Mumford, D. (1992) On the computational architecture of the neocortex. II. The role of cortico-cortical loops. Biological Cybernetics 66(3):241–51.
Murray, S. O., Kersten, D., Olshausen, B. A., Schrater, P. & Woods, D. L. (2002) Shape perception reduces activity in human primary visual cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 99(23):15164–69.
Olshausen, B. A. & Field, D. J. (1996) Emergence of simple-cell receptive field properties by learning a sparse code for natural images. Nature 381(6583):607609.
Pfeifer, R., Lungarella, M., Sporns, O. & Kuniyoshi, Y. (2007) On the information theoretic implications of embodiment – principles and methods. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), vol. 4850. Springer.
Phillips, W. A., Kay, J. & Smyth, D. (1995) The discovery of structure by multistream networks of local processors with contextual guidance. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 6:225–46.
Phillips, W. A., von der Malsburg, C. & Singer, W. (2010) Dynamic coordination in brain and mind. In: Strüngmann Forum Report, vol. 5: Dynamic coordination in the brain: From neurons to mind, ed. von der Malsburg, C., Phillips, W. A. & Singer, W., Chapter 1, pp. 124. MIT Press.
Pickering, M. J. & Garrod, S. (2007) Do people use language production to make predictions during comprehension? Trends in Cognitive Sciences (11):105110.
Posner, M. (1980) Orienting of attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 32:33.
Reichert, D., Seriès, P. & Storkey, A. (2010) Hallucinations in Charles Bonnet Syndrome induced by homeostasis: A Deep Boltzmann Machine model. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23:2020–28.
Roepstorff, A., Niewohner, J. & Beck, S. (2010) Enculturing brains through patterned practices. Neural Networks 23(8–9):1051–59.
Salakhutdinov, R. & Hinton, G. E. (2009) Deep Boltzmann machines. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), vol. 5, ed. D. van Dyk & M. Welling, pp. 448–55. The Journal of Machine Learning Research, published online, at
Schenk, T. & McIntosh, R. (2010) Do we have independent visual streams for perception and action? Cognitive Neuroscience 1:5278.
Seth, A. K., Suzuki, K. & Critchley, H. D. (2011) An interoceptive predictive coding model of conscious presence. Frontiers in Psychology 2:395.
Stephan, K., Friston, K. & Frith, C. (2009) Dysconnection in schizophrenia: From abnormal synaptic plasticity to failures of self-monitoring. Schizophrenia Bulletin 35(3):509–27.
von der Malsburg, C., Phillips, W. A. & Singer, W., eds. (2010) Strungmann Forum Report, Vol. 5. Dynamic coordination in the brain: From neurons to mind. MIT Press.
Wyart, V., Nobre, A. C. & Summerfield, C. (2012) Dissociable prior influences of signal probability and relevance on visual contrast sensitivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109:3593–98.
Zhu, Q. & Bingham, G. P. (2011) Human readiness to throw: The size-weight illusion is not an illusion when picking the best objects to throw. Evolution and Human Behavior 32(4):288–93.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed