Free-energy minimization and the dark-room problem

Karl, Friston, Thornton, Chris and Andy, Clark (2012) Free-energy minimization and the dark-room problem. Frontiers in Psychology, 3. p. 130. ISSN 1664-1078

[img] PDF
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (251kB)


Recent years have seen the emergence of an important new fundamental theory of brain function. This theory brings information-theoretic, Bayesian, neuroscientific, and machine learning approaches into a single framework whose overarching principle is the minimization of surprise (or, equivalently, the maximization of expectation). The most comprehensive such treatment is the 'free energy minimization' formulation due to Karl Friston (see e.g. Friston and Stephan (2007), Friston (2010) see also Thornton (2010), Fiorillo (2010) A recurrent puzzle raised by critics of these models is that biological systems do not seem to avoid surprises. We do not simply seek a dark, unchanging chamber and stay there. This is the 'Dark Room Problem'. Here, we describe the problem and further unpack the issues to which it speaks. Using the same format as the prologue of Eddington's Space, Time and Gravitation (Eddington 1920) we present our discussion as a conversation between:

Item Type: Article
Keywords: free-energy principle, Bayesian brain, surprise, optimality
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Chris Thornton
Date Deposited: 08 May 2013 09:01
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 21:18

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update