Thursday, 20 October 2016

SCAN seminar hosting Prof. Jakob Hohwy from Monash, Monday Oct 24

The SCAN seminar on Monday 24th October will be delivered by Prof. Jakob Hohwy from Monash University at 12:00 noon in the Keats Reading Room.

Title: "Better believe the free energy principle"

Many believe that an important part of brain function is to form predictions of sensory input. Fewer believe the free energy principle, which is an extreme version of the idea that the brain is predictive. So it ought to be reasonable to believe that prediction is an important part of brain function while not believing the free energy principle. Using simple considerations from philosophy of science, I argue that if one begins with the idea that prediction is an important part of brain function, then it is reasonable to also believe the free energy principle.

Jakob is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He studied in Aarhus, Denmark, obtained his masters from St. Andrews, Scotland, and did his PhD at the Australian National University. Jakob has established the Cognition & Philosophy Lab at Monash University, which conducts empirical experiments and theoretical explorations in consciousness science. His approach is highly interdisciplinary, and he collaborates with neuroscientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists on topics such as the neural correlates of consciousness, bistable perception, multisensory integration in autism, and bodily self-awareness. Jakob is the author of The Predictive Mind (OUP, 2013), which seeks to unify many aspects of consciousness under the notion of prediction error minimisation.

Jakob will be available to meet with staff and students after 2pm on Monday. Please contact Dr. Bryan Paton ( if you wish to meet with Jakob.