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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Prediction may be a central concept for understanding perceptual and cognitive processing. Contemporary theoretical neuroscience formalizes the role of prediction in terms of probabilistic inference. Perception, action, attention, and learning may then be unified as aspects of predictive processing in the brain. This chapter first explains the sense in which predictive processing is inferential and representational. Then follows an exploration of how the predictive processing framework relates to a series of considerations in favor of enactive, embedded, embodied, and extended cognition (4E cognition). The initial impression may be that predictive processing is too representational and inferential to fit well to 4E cognition. But, in fact, predictive processing encompasses many phenomena prevalent in 4E approaches, while remaining both inferential and representational.

Keywords: prediction error minimization, Bayesian inference, representation, approximate inference, perceptual inference, active inference, embodied cognition, extended cognition, embedded cognition, enactive cognition

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