Predictive Coding

Network Capital
Predictive coding is our cognitive ability to organize thoughts and experi- ences as efficiently as possible. It is our minds’ system of processing general environment and data. It replaces the unknown with the expected.

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We encounter numerous objects, experiences and individuals daily. On most typical days we all see at least one tree, some preparation of food and some form of human interaction. The fact that these observations and experiences are so trivial that they do not fascinate us is a result of predictive coding. All of our imagination, mental visualizations and thought processing is a part of predictive coding. Therefore, at a meta level, responding to input is the by-product. The act of receiving and processing input is foundational to the functioning of our
coding is undoubtingly essential for our brains.

Predictive Coding is undoubtingly  essential for our brains' ability to receive, process and respond to inputs from our environment. As a mechanism, it limits the stimuli to our brain by putting new and unknown objects and experiences in existing categories of known. By doing so, predictive coding exponentially increases our abilities of concentration and dealing with changing environments. It saves us from obsessively thinking or being fascinated by every new tree, food item and individual we meet. Imagine being distraught and fascinated by every meal you eat. Without predictive coding we would never be able to work on second-order thinking and complex problems.

Predictive coding also has a critical impact on our learning and memory. However, in this case it creates an interesting Catch-22.

To learn and unlearn new information and knowledge, our minds have to work against our natural predictive coding processes. But to remember all that we have learnt, we need to generate and strengthen a predictive model of that information. Optimal success in this case lies at delicate balance between learning and memory. It also makes it extremely important for us to be careful, conscious and deliberate in things we attempt to learn and unlearn. For example, understanding mental models and forms of cognitive biases would be a point in favour of learning.
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