Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

A Bayesian and Emergent View of the Brain

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of KronoScope

Very simple psychophysiological visual tests suggest that the brain, instead of processing visual information in a passive way as was classically thought, in fact actively evaluates probabilities of the causes of visual data and continuously proposes to the mind the ones that are more likely to account for sensory inputs. In the past few years, Karl Friston, a researcher from University College of London, and his group have proposed a mechanism by which the brain successfully performs with great precision the inversion of probability densities necessary for this Bayesian computation. This mechanism would account for several anatomic structures of the cortex, explaining in particular the abundance of backwards interneuronal connections. The proposed picture of brain functioning is that of a dynamical process, far from the static image of a photographic plate. The result is an emergence, for the final picture of the world is a coherent vision where the more likely causes are proposed in a coherent manner. Although the theory accounts for the automatic, infraconscious side of the processing of information in the brain, it is in good accord with Roger Sperry’s theory of consciousness as a theory of strong emergence. It is too soon to evaluate the solidity of the law of “minimization of free energy” proposed by Friston not only as ruling the automatisms of the brain but as a general law of biology. This law is similar (although in contradistinction) to the second law of thermodynamics of increase of entropy (insofar as it explains the tendency of living beings for self-organization), and it is already looked at by some neuroscientists as a big step forward in deciphering the mysteries of the brain.

Affiliations: 1:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    KronoScope — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation