Journal article

A World Unto Itself: Human Communication as Active Inference

Jared Vasil, Paul B Badcock, Axel Constant, Karl Friston, Maxwell JD Ramstead

Frontiers in Psychology | FRONTIERS MEDIA SA | Published : 2020

Abstract

Recent theoretical work in developmental psychology suggests that humans are predisposed to align their mental states with those of other individuals. One way this manifests is in cooperative communication; that is, intentional communication aimed at aligning individuals' mental states with respect to events in their shared environment. This idea has received strong empirical support. The purpose of this paper is to extend this account by proposing an integrative model of the biobehavioral dynamics of cooperative communication. Our formulation is based on active inference. Active inference suggests that action-perception cycles operate to minimize uncertainty and optimize an individual's int..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by Postgraduate Research Scholarship in the Philosophy of Biomedicine as part of the ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship project A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st Century


Awarded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral fellowship


Awarded by Wellcome Principal Research Fellowship


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Michael J. Farrar, Robert D'Amico, Andreas Keil, Michael Tomasello, Leon Li, Josh Perlin, and Stephan Meylan for helpful commentary, discussion, and feedback on early drafts of the manuscript. This research was produced thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, awarded to McGill University for the Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives initiative (S. P. L. Veissiere and MR), as well as a Postgraduate Research Scholarship in the Philosophy of Biomedicine as part of the ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship project A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st Century (Ref: FL170100160) (AC), a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral fellowship (Ref: 752-2019-0065) (AC), a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Doctoral Scholarship and a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (MR), and by a Wellcome Principal Research Fellowship (KF Ref: 088130/Z/09/Z).