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What is Active Inference - Understanding How Our Brain Makes Decisions

Dr. Karl Friston is a neuroscientist at UCL, and he is well known for his breakthrough research on several key areas of neuroscience.


One of his most notable ideas is the Free Energy Principle (FEP), a theoretical framework for understanding how our brain works. It posits that the brain is constantly trying to minimize its prediction error or the difference between what it expects to happen and what actually happens. This principle can be used to explain a wide range of neural processes, from perception and action to learning and decision-making.


Dr Friston also coined the term Active Inference which is a generalization of his Free Energy Principle (FEP). Essentially, it is a computational framework that describes how we use our "internal models" of the environment to generate hypotheses, test predictions, and act.


The underlying idea is that the brain actively seeks out information that can help reduce its prediction error, using its internal models to generate predictions about the environment and to guide behavior. Our brain's internal models are based on past experiences and are constantly updated based on new information.


No doubt there is more to come from neuroscience research as we try to decipher how our hugely complex brain works as it tries to make sense of the world.



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