Summary of “To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future”

Enter predictive coding theory, which offers specific formulations of how brains can be Bayesian.
These prediction errors, researchers say, help animals update their future expectations and drive decision-making.
If the brain were simply representing its perceptual experience, the strongest signal should have corresponded to “Ick” instead. But efforts are also ongoing to widen predictive coding’s relevance beyond perception and motion – to establish it as the common currency of everything going on in the brain.
Some researchers theorize that emotions and moods can be formulated in predictive coding terms: Emotions could be states the brain represents to minimize prediction error about internal signals such as body temperature, heart rate or blood pressure.
Not everyone agrees that the case for predictive coding in the brain is strengthening.
To David Heeger, a professor of psychology at New York University, it’s important to make a distinction between “Predictive coding,” which he says is about transmitting information efficiently, and “Predictive processing,” which he defines as prediction-making over time.
Last year, researchers at the University of Sussex even used virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies that included predictive coding features to create what they called the “Hallucination Machine,” a tool that was able to mimic the altered hallucinatory states typically caused by psychedelic drugs.
Machine learning advances could be used to provide new insights into what’s happening in the brain by comparing how well predictive coding models perform against other techniques.

The orginal article.