Predictive Processing and Infant Development: The Current State-of-the-art

A novel analogy is taking hold in theoretical neuroscience: “Prediction is to brain as digestion is to stomach.” This analogy, provocative as it is, expresses the essence of what has become known as the Predictive Processing account (Clark, 2013). According to this account, the brain is essentially “a sophisticated hypothesis-testing mechanism, which is constantly involved in minimizing the error of its prediction of the sensory input it receives of the world.” (Hohwy, 2013). Notwithstanding its empirical and theoretical successes, the Predictive Processing account is lacking one key ingredient: A coherent and consistent explanation of how the generative models that allow for making predictions about sensory input are developed in infancy. We are interested in the mechanism(s) by which infants learn to make sense of the environment and how they interact with it. 

In this workshop, we will discuss the current state-of-the-art with respect to Predictive Processing as related to developmental research in order to foster cross-talk between different disciplines and to provide a comprehensive overview of predictive processing in development.