THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Tag Archives: psychology

Adult Neurogenesis – A Pointed Review

[I am not a neuroscientist and apologize in advance for any errors in this article. A recent study came out contradicting some of the claims mentioned here. See here for study, this comment for some discussion, and entry #20 on … Continue reading

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God Help Us, Let’s Try To Understand Friston On Free Energy

I’ve been trying to delve deeper into predictive processing theories of the brain, and I keep coming across Karl Friston’s work on “free energy”. At first I felt bad for not understanding this. Then I realized I wasn’t alone. There’s … Continue reading

Guyenet On Motivation

Rereading The Hungry Brain, I notice my review missed one of my favorite parts: the description of the motivational system. It starts with studies of lampreys, horrible little primitive parasitic fish: How does the lamprey decide what to do? Within … Continue reading

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Fight Me, Psychologists: Birth Order Effects Exist And Are Very Strong

“Birth order” refers to whether a child is the oldest, second-oldest, youngest, etc. in their family. For a while, pop psychologists created a whole industry around telling people how their birth order affected their personality: oldest children are more conservative, … Continue reading

SSC Survey Results On Trust

Last post talked about individual differences in whether people found others basically friendly or hostile. The SSC survey included a sort of related question: “Are people basically trustworthy?” The exact phrasing asked respondents to rate other people from 1 (“basically … Continue reading

Meditative States As Feedback Loops

Three years ago, in Going Loopy, I wrote: If the brain had been designed by an amateur, it would enter a runaway feedback loop the first time it felt an emotion. Think about it. You see a butterfly. This makes … Continue reading

Book Review: Mastering The Core Teachings Of The Buddha

I. I always wanted to meditate more, but never really got around to it. And (I thought) I had an unimpeachable excuse. The demands of a medical career are incompatible with such a time-consuming practice. Enter Daniel Ingram MD, an … Continue reading

Toward A Predictive Theory Of Depression

[Epistemic status: Total wild speculation] I. The predictive processing model offers compelling accounts of autism and schizophrenia. But Surfing Uncertainty and related sources I’ve read are pretty quiet about depression. Is there a possible PP angle here? Chekroud (2015) has … Continue reading

How Do We Get Breasts Out Of Bayes Theorem?

[Epistemic status: I guess instincts clearly exist, so take this post more as an expression of confusion than as a claim that they don’t.] Predictive processing isn’t necessarily blank-slatist. But its focus on building concepts out of attempts to generate/predict … Continue reading

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Predictive Processing And Perceptual Control

Yesterday’s review of Surfing Uncertainty mentioned how predictive processing attributes movement to strong predictions about proprioceptive sensations. Because the brain tries to minimize predictive error, it moves the limbs into the positions needed to produce those sensations, fulfilling its own … Continue reading

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