Editorial to the special issue on perspectives on human probabilistic inference and the 'Bayesian brain'


Kwisthout J, Phillips W, Seth AK, van Rooij I & Clark A (2017) Editorial to the special issue on perspectives on human probabilistic inference and the 'Bayesian brain'. Brain and Cognition, 112, pp. 1-2.

First paragraph: Though usually implicit, probabilistic inference (both abductive and inductive) is fundamental to human mental life, to its progressive development, and to directly lived experience. In recent years we have witnessed an explosive growth in studies of probabilistic inference from various perspectives. The timeliness of this topic is clearly demonstrated by the response toClark’s (2013)discussion article in Brain and Behavioral Sciences, which was so extensive that a special issue of Frontiers in Psychology (Cleeremans & Edelman, 2013) had to be created to provide an additional outlet for the exceptionally large number of high-quality commentaries offered. To make optimal use of the impetus raised by these recent results and discussions, we organized a week-long workshop in May 2014 at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, the Netherlands.1This interdisciplinary workshop brought together neuroscientists, philosophers, computer scientists and cognitive scientists with the aim to foster new interdisciplinary perspectives on the role of probabilistic inference in three themes: (1) unifying conceptions of brain functioning; (2) mechanisms of phenomenological experience, and (3) the computational realization of cognition. This special issue ofBrain and Cognitionis one of the tangible outcomes of the discussions during and after the workshop. We invited participants to further develop work initiated or inspired by the workshop, and after careful and rigorous reviewing selected twelve research papers and commentaries for inclusion in this special issue.

Brain and Cognition: Volume 112

Publication date31/03/2017
Publication date online24/12/2016