Workshop Representation in Models of Cognition


We are pleased to invite you to our workshop with Dalton Sakthivadivel with talks and discussion organised by the Vienna Doctoral School of Philosophy and the ERC Project Possible Life.

When & Where: 4.10.23, 14:00 - 16:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG

Synchronisation and Self-Organisation under the Free Energy Principle

Dalton Sakthivadivel, City University of New York Graduate Centre

We will trace through the logic of (a particular form of) Friston's free energy principle and show how one arrives at the statement "interacting random processes with non-equilibrium steady state densities look as if they minimise variational free energy." We will then explore how the FEP can be related to the physics of non-equilibrium systems by considering the connection between variational free energy minimisation and the maintenance of certain fluxes of energy in and out of a system. Some discussion of what a representation means in this context will follow. We will propose a minimalist account of representation as synchronisation in coupled random dynamical systems.

Model Templates for Minimal Models of Consciousness

Moritz Kriegleder, Vienna Doctoral School of Philosophy, Possible Life Project, Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna

Understanding consciousness has always been an interdisciplinary effort combining theories and tools from many fields. Minimal models provide a shared framework for the systematic study of phenomena identifying common assumptions. The talk discusses the model template approach, focusing on the migration of ideas from physics to biology, psychology, and sociology, using the free energy principle as a case study. I advocate a pragmatic approach to using mathematical tools for modeling consciousness within current cognitive science paradigms.