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SickZip
Jul 29, 2008


read surfing uncertainity. its cool and has more recent research and explains the nature of thought in a way more advanced then i believed science had gotten on the subject

poor tldr:
-the brain is fundamentally a predictive engine from top to bottom. your conscious experience is the very top of a bunch of layers of prediction-and-comparison. stuff that "works", that fits generated predictions, stays unconscious. stuff that doesnt work is passed upward through the layers until it reaches the conscious mind. the conscious mind being basically a guided dream, a narrative told to ourself used to resolve uncertainty and dissonance between prediction and reality that the lower levels cant make sense of.

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SickZip
Jul 29, 2008


mr_gay_sex_fan posted:

yea that's hosed up man

it's cool and has hella explanatory power for a bunch of stuff from mental illness to optical illusions

from the slatestarcodex review of the book that got me to read it:

quote:

Schizophrenia. Converging lines of research suggest this also involves weak priors, apparently at a different level to autism and with different results after various compensatory mechanisms have had their chance to kick in. One especially interesting study asked neurotypicals and schizophrenics to follow a moving light, much like the airplane video in Part III above. When the light moved in a predictable pattern, the neurotypicals were much better at tracking it; when it was a deliberately perverse video specifically designed to frustrate expectations, the schizophrenics actually did better. This suggests that neurotypicals were guided by correct top-down priors about where the light would be going; schizophrenics had very weak priors and so weren’t really guided very well, but also didn’t screw up when the light did something unpredictable
...
The exact route from this sort of thing to schizophrenia is really complicated, and anyone interested should check out Section 2.12 and the whole of Chapter 7 from the book. But the basic story is that it creates waves of anomalous prediction error and surprisal, leading to the so-called “delusions of significance” where schizophrenics believe that eg the fact that someone is wearing a hat is some sort of incredibly important cosmic message. Schizophrenics’ brains try to produce hypotheses that explain all of these prediction errors and reduce surprise – which is impossible, because the prediction errors are random. This results in incredibly weird hypotheses, and eventually in schizophrenic brains being willing to ignore the bottom-up stream entirely – hence hallucinations.
...
All this is treated with antipsychotics, which antagonize dopamine, which – remember – represents confidence level. So basically the medication is telling the brain “YOU CAN IGNORE ALL THIS PREDICTION ERROR, EVERYTHING YOU’RE PERCEIVING IS TOTALLY GARBAGE SPURIOUS DATA” – which turns out to be exactly the message it needs to hear.
...
An interesting corollary of all this – because all of schizophrenics’ predictive models are so screwy, they lose the ability to use the “adjust away the consequences of your own actions” hack discussed in Part 5 of this section. That means their own actions don’t get predicted out, and seem like the actions of a foreign agent. This is why they get so-called “delusions of agency”, like “the government beamed that thought into my brain” or “aliens caused my arm to move just now"

There's more stuff like schizophrenics are less vulnerable to a number of optical illusions (because the illusions rely on your past experience leading you astray and schizophrenics have weaker priors, a more uncertain model that correctly picks up on the novel unexpected stimulus) and that they can sometimes tickle themself (because they aren't correctly accounting for their own action/thoughts in their predictions. basically a more benign version of 'that thought was actually coming from someone/somewhere else')

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