Publication 5809

Stepp N. & Turvey M. T. (2010) On strong anticipation. Cognitive Systems Research 11: 148–164. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/5809
We examine Dubois’s (2003) distinction between weak anticipation and strong anticipation. Anticipation is weak if it arises from a model of the system via internal simulations. Anticipation is strong if it arises from the system itself via lawful regularities embedded in the system’s ordinary mode of functioning. The assumption of weak anticipation dominates cognitive science and neuroscience and in particular the study of perception and action. The assumption of strong anticipation, however, seems to be required by anticipation’s ubiquity. It is, for example, characteristic of homeostatic processes at the level of the organism, organs, and cells. We develop the formal distinction between strong and weak anticipation by elaboration of anticipating synchronization, a phenomenon arising from time delays in appropriately coupled dynamical systems. The elaboration is conducted in respect to (a) strictly physical systems, (b) the defining features of circadian rhythms, often viewed as paradigmatic of biological behavior based in internal models, (c) Pavlovian learning, and (d) forward models in motor control. We identify the common thread of strongly anticipatory systems and argue for its significance in furthering understanding of notions such as “internal”, “model” and “prediction”.

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