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  Self-organization, free energy minimization, and optimal grip on a field of affordances

Bruineberg, J., & Rietveld, E. (2014). Self-organization, free energy minimization, and optimal grip on a field of affordances. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 599. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00599.

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© 2014 Bruineberg and Rietveld. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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 Creators:
Bruineberg, Jelle1, 2, 3, Author              
Rietveld, Erik1, 2, 4, Author
Affiliations:
1Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC), University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Philosophy, Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
4Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Affordances; Self-organization; Metastability; Optimal grip; Merleau-Ponty; Neurodynamics; Free Energy Principle; Landscape of affordances
 Abstract: In this paper, we set out to develop a theoretical and conceptual framework for the new field of Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience. This framework should be able to integrate insights from several relevant disciplines: theory on embodied cognition, ecological psychology, phenomenology, dynamical systems theory, and neurodynamics. We suggest that the main task of Radical Embodied Cognitive Neuroscience is to investigate the phenomenon of skilled intentionality from the perspective of the self-organization of the brain-body-environment system, while doing justice to the phenomenology of skilled action. In previous work, we have characterized skilled intentionality as the organism's tendency toward an optimal grip on multiple relevant affordances simultaneously. Affordances are possibilities for action provided by the environment. In the first part of this paper, we introduce the notion of skilled intentionality and the phenomenon of responsiveness to a field of relevant affordances. Second, we use Friston's work on neurodynamics, but embed a very minimal version of his Free Energy Principle in the ecological niche of the animal. Thus amended, this principle is helpful for understanding the embeddedness of neurodynamics within the dynamics of the system “brain-body-landscape of affordances.” Next, we show how we can use this adjusted principle to understand the neurodynamics of selective openness to the environment: interacting action-readiness patterns at multiple timescales contribute to the organism's selective openness to relevant affordances. In the final part of the paper, we emphasize the important role of metastable dynamics in both the brain and the brain-body-environment system for adequate affordance-responsiveness. We exemplify our integrative approach by presenting research on the impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on affordance responsiveness of OCD patients.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-03-312014-07-172014-08-12
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00599
PMID: 25161615
PMC: PMC4130179
Other: eCollection 2014
 Degree: -

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Title: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Hum Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 Sequence Number: 599 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1662-5161
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1662-5161