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Front Psychol. 2012 Apr 2;3:96. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00096. eCollection 2012.

Attention and conscious perception in the hypothesis testing brain.

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1
Department of Philosophy, Monash University Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

Conscious perception and attention are difficult to study, partly because their relation to each other is not fully understood. Rather than conceiving and studying them in isolation from each other it may be useful to locate them in an independently motivated, general framework, from which a principled account of how they relate can then emerge. Accordingly, these mental phenomena are here reviewed through the prism of the increasingly influential predictive coding framework. On this framework, conscious perception can be seen as the upshot of prediction error minimization and attention as the optimization of precision expectations during such perceptual inference. This approach maps on well to a range of standard characteristics of conscious perception and attention, and can be used to interpret a range of empirical findings on their relation to each other.

KEYWORDS:

change blindness; free energy; inattentional blindness; precision expectation; prediction error minimization; unconscious processing

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