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Autism, the predictive mind and tennis 26 Aug 2021

A new, refreshing look at autism from a predictive coding framework


Price (excl. VAT): €32,65
Price (incl. VAT): €39,50
VAT: 21%

26 August 3pm-5pm CEST - (Europe) / 9am-11pm EDT - (North America)

The webinar will be recorded and available for 48 hours after the live session.

It takes about two hundred milliseconds to see a tennis player hit the ball. At that time, the tennis ball is already passing the net. When you see the ball go over the net, the ball has already passed you. If the brain were to work according to the well-known stimulus-response principle, tennis would be impossible. Playing tennis, and many other sports such as baseball, is only possible for a brain that can predict where the ball will land.

Many ideas about the autistic brain are based on conceptions about the human brain that are outdated. The computer as a metaphor for the brain, with its input, processing and output, has been very useful in the past, but seems to be incorrect in the light of recent discoveries in brain science. A Copernican revolution is going on in neuroscience and it will change our ideas about the brain significantly. The brain is not working like a traditional computer: the brain is guessing more than it is computing. The brain predicts the world and it does so in a very context sensitive way. This is known as the predictive coding account of human information processing.

In this webinar we will explain predictive coding, using tennis as an example. We will explore what this new framework could mean for our understanding of autism. The predictive coding perspective offers some thought provoking new ideas, such as why traditional emotion recognition programs and traditional social skills training are not a good idea for children with autism and why autism friendliness is not the same as eliminating or reducing stimuli, because the brain does not process stimuli but prediction errors. The predictive coding framework hits many common ideas about autism with a…smash!