The modularity of action and perception revisited using control theory and active inference

Baltieri, Manuel and Buckley, Christopher L (2018) The modularity of action and perception revisited using control theory and active inference. ALIFE 2018, Tokyo, Japan, July 23-27. Published in: Ikegami, Takashi, Virgo, Natheniel, Witkowski, Olaf, Oka, Mizuki, Suzuki, Reiji and Hiroyuki, Iizuka, (eds.) Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference (ALIFE 2018). MIT Press

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The assumption that action and perception can be investigated independently is entrenched in theories, models and experimental approaches across the brain and mind sciences. In cognitive science, this has been a central point of contention between computationalist and 4Es (enactive, embodied, extended and embedded) theories of cognition, with the former embracing the “classical sandwich”, modular, architecture of the mind and the latter actively denying this separation can be made. In this work we suggest that the modular independence of action and perception strongly resonates with the separation principle of control theory and furthermore that this principle provides formal criteria within which to evaluate the implications of the modularity of action and perception. We will also see that real-time feedback with the environment, often considered necessary for the definition of 4Es ideas, is not however a sufficient condition to avoid the “classical sandwich”. Finally, we argue that an emerging framework in the cognitive and brain sciences, active inference, extends ideas derived from control theory to the study of biological systems while disposing of the separation principle, describing non-modular models of behaviour strongly aligned with 4Es theories of cognition.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems Research Group
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General) > Q0300 Cybernetics > Q0350 Information theory
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Depositing User: Manuel Baltieri
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2018 13:55
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2019 15:32

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