UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Perceptual awareness and active inference

Parr, T; Corcoran, AW; Friston, KJ; Hohwy, J; (2019) Perceptual awareness and active inference. Neurosci Conscious , 2019 (1) , Article niz012. 10.1093/nc/niz012. (In press). Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Friston_Perceptual awareness and active inference_VoR.pdf - Published version

Download (926kB) | Preview

Abstract

Perceptual awareness depends upon the way in which we engage with our sensorium. This notion is central to active inference, a theoretical framework that treats perception and action as inferential processes. This variational perspective on cognition formalizes the notion of perception as hypothesis testing and treats actions as experiments that are designed (in part) to gather evidence for or against alternative hypotheses. The common treatment of perception and action affords a useful interpretation of certain perceptual phenomena whose active component is often not acknowledged. In this article, we start by considering Troxler fading - the dissipation of a peripheral percept during maintenance of fixation, and its recovery during free (saccadic) exploration. This offers an important example of the failure to maintain a percept without actively interrogating a visual scene. We argue that this may be understood in terms of the accumulation of uncertainty about a hypothesized stimulus when free exploration is disrupted by experimental instructions or pathology. Once we take this view, we can generalize the idea of using bodily (oculomotor) action to resolve uncertainty to include the use of mental (attentional) actions for the same purpose. This affords a useful way to think about binocular rivalry paradigms, in which perceptual changes need not be associated with an overt movement.

Type: Article
Title: Perceptual awareness and active inference
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/nc/niz012
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/nc/niz012
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Bayesian, Troxler fading, active inference, awareness, binocular rivalry
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083809
Downloads since deposit
8Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item