It’s my pleasure to introduce Jakob Hohwy, Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the Philosophy Department at Monash University, as our next featured scholar here at Brains.
Jakob is a truly interdisciplinary researcher, who works at the intersection of philosophy, neuroscience and psychology. He was educated in Aarhus and St Andrews and holds a PhD from the Australian National University as well as a Dr. Phil from Aarhus University. His research deals with the traditional mind-body debate as well as with more interdisciplinary topics in philosophy of cognitive neuroscience and philosophical psychopathology. Far from doing his research from the comfort of his armchair alone, Jakob is involved in a number of experimental, interdisciplinary research projects with neuroscientists and psychiatrists and has even built up a laboratory where he and his team conduct experiments using neuroscience and psychology methods to address philosophical issues, and vice versa.
In his recent book “The predictive mind”, Jakob discusses the theory that the brain is essentially a hypothesis-testing mechanism, that is, that it is constantly engaged in attempts to minimise the error of its predictions about the sensory input it receives from the world. He applies this principle to a range of phenomena, including consciousness, attention, emotion, mental illness and introspection and argues that it can account for the multifaceted character of our conscious experience and provide an account of its relation to attention and action.
Jakob has also published numerous articles on topics including consciousness and attention, delusions, bodily self-awareness, mind-brain identity, and social cognition; and he co-edited a volume on reduction, explanation and causation and edited a special issue of Synthese on functional integration and the mind.
I am looking forward to his posts over the next couple of weeks, in which he will introduce ideas from his past and current research as well as discuss his plans for future research.