Professor Jakob Hohwy

Jakob is Head of Philosophy at Monash University. He conducts interdisciplinary research on theories of brain function.

Jakob leads the Cognition & Philosophy Lab within the Department of Philosophy which explores the philosophy of the mind and neuroscience. Blending the boundaries between philosophy and other disciplines including psychology, physics, neuroscience, psychiatry and engineering, the lab conducts experiments on the nature of perception and cognition.

Much of the research revolves around theories that the brain is a sophisticated hypothesis tester, figuring out the causes of sensory input by continually minimising its own prediction error through both perception and action. Using theoretical and empirical techniques such as behavioural tasks, psychophysics, EEG and fMRI, the lab focuses on:

– the science of consciousness: what is consciousness, how can it be studied and how does it arise in the brain?
– theoretical neurobiology: what are the foundational principles of brain function and how can we empirically test theories of brain function?
– self and bodily awareness: what is the self, is it real and how do we represent bodies?
– psychiatry and neurology: studies on autism, depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders and functional motor disorders

Jakob is Deputy editor of the OA journal Neuroscience of Consciousness & author of The Predictive Mind (Oxford University Press).

Why does consciousness research matter?

An understanding of consciousness, and the mechanisms that create our experience of the world and our place within it, is more important than ever before. Significant to our everyday lives, consciousness research has far reaching implications for: