GSO-2011: Karl Friston
Active inference and action observation
This presentation will look at action, perception and cognition as emergent phenomena under one unifying perspective. This Helmholtzian perspective regards the brain as a (generative) model of its environment. The imperative for any brain is then to optimize a free energy bound on the (Bayesian) evidence for its model of the world. We will see that this is not just mandated for the brain but for any self-organizing system that resists a natural tendency to disorder in a changing environment. More specifically, maximizing Bayesian evidence leads in a fairly straightforward way to an understanding of action as active inference, and perception in terms of predictive coding. I hope to illustrate these points using simulations of perceptual categorization and action observation.