The Predictive Mind

The Predictive Mind

3.79 (43 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


A new theory is taking hold in neuroscience. It is the theory that the brain is essentially a hypothesis-testing mechanism, one that attempts to minimise the error of its predictions about the sensory input it receives from the world. It is an attractive theory because powerful theoretical arguments support it, and yet it is at heart stunningly simple. Jakob Hohwy explains and explores this theory from the perspective of cognitive science and philosophy. The key
argument throughout The Predictive Mind is that the mechanism explains the rich, deep, and multifaceted character of our conscious perception. It also gives a unified account of how perception is sculpted by attention, and how it depends on action. The mind is revealed as having a fragile and indirect
relation to the world. Though we are deeply in tune with the world we are also strangely distanced from it.

The first part of the book sets out how the theory enables rich, layered perception. The theory's probabilistic and statistical foundations are explained using examples from empirical research and analogies to different forms of inference. The second part uses the simple mechanism in an explanation of problematic cases of how we manage to represent, and sometimes misrepresent, the world in health as well as in mental illness. The third part looks into the mind, and shows how the theory accounts
for attention, conscious unity, introspection, self and the privacy of our mental world.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 294 pages
  • 157 x 233 x 17mm | 454g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199686734
  • 9780199686735
  • 86,468

Table of contents

Preface ; Introduction ; PART I: THE MECHANISM ; 1. Perception as causal inference ; 2. Prediction error minimisation ; 3. Prediction error, context, and precision ; 4. Action and expected experience ; PART II: THE WORLD ; 5. Binding is inference ; 6. Is predicting seeing? ; 7. Precarious prediction ; 8. Surprise and misrepresentation ; PART III: THE MIND ; 9. Precision, attention, and consciousness ; 10. Perceptual unity in action ; 11. The fragile mirror of nature ; 12. Into the predictive mind ; Concluding remarks: The mind in prediction ; Acknowledgements ; Bibliography ; Index
show more

Review quote

Every now and then a book appears that looks set to be a milestone in the interdisciplinary study of mind. This is one of those rare and important books. The core organizing principle of mentality itself, Hohwy persuasively argues, is the prediction of our own ongoing streams of sensory input. Hohwy applies this principle to cases ranging from simple sensing all the way to hallucinations, delusions, consciousness, emotion, the sense of presence, and the nature of the
self. A wonderful, timely, ground-breaking treatment, and required reading for anyone interested in the nature and possibility of mind. * Andy Clark FRSE, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh * This is a wonderful and deep book. I have heard it said that it heralds a paradigm shift in cognitive neuroscience and perhaps neurophilosophy. It is an eloquent and accessible synthesis of recent advances in theoretical neurobiology, as they apply to the human brain and mind. I confess that I had thought about writing a book addressing the more technical themes but having read The Predictive Mind, I feel curiously complacent and content, because this book says
everything that needed to be said and much more. * Karl Friston, University College London * How does your brain generate accurate perceptual experiences? How does it initiate action? How does it do virtually everything else it does? Jakob Hohwy's book provides an ambitious, controversial answer ... I predict that Hohwy's book will be an important part of the discussion. * Jona Vance, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
show more

About Jakob Hohwy

Jakob Hohwy is a philosopher engaged in both conceptual and experimental research. He works on problems in philosophy of mind about perception, neuroscience, and mental illness. At the same time, he collaborates with neuroscientists and psychiatrists, conducting experiments that put philosophical ideas to the test and that bring philosophical concerns into the lab. Hohwy completed his PhD at the Australian National University, his Masters degree at St Andrews
University in Scotland, and his basic philosophy training in Denmark. He has set up the Philosophy and Cognition lab in the Philosophy Department at Monash University in Melbourne.
show more

Rating details

43 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 28% (12)
4 40% (17)
3 16% (7)
2 16% (7)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X