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Experienced WholenessIntegrating Insights from Gestalt Theory, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Predictive Processing$
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Wanja Wiese

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036993

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036993.001.0001

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Consciousness and Predictive Processing

Consciousness and Predictive Processing

(p.229) 8 Consciousness and Predictive Processing
Experienced Wholeness

Wanja Wiese

The MIT Press

Predictive processing (PP) is not a theory of consciousness. Hence, it is not obvious that PP should have any relevance to research on consciousness. A first promising possibility opens up if we consider the ambitious assumption that PP is a general theory of brain function. If the brain’s function is to minimize prediction error (just as the heart’s function is to pump blood), as Jakob Hohwy (2015) suggests, then it might well be that the computational processes underlying consciousness can usefully be described within the PP framework. This chapter focuses on (i) how PP accounts for attention, and what this suggests with regards to the relation between attention and consciousness (e.g., how volitional attention may change the contents of consciousness); (ii) furthermore, it is suggested that PP can provide a unifying perspective on some proposed functions and theories of consciousness (such as global workspace theory, attention schema theory, and integrated information theoy).

Keywords:   Consciousness, Predictive processing, Attention, Volitional attention, Global workspace theory, Attention schema theory, Integrated information theory, Jakob Hohwy

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