Inattention and Uncertainty in the Predictive Brain

Tuomo Kujala, Otto Lappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Negative effects of inattention on task performance can be seen in many contexts of society and human behavior, such as traffic, work, and sports. In traffic, inattention is one of the most frequently cited causal factors in accidents. In order to identify inattention and mitigate its negative effects, there is a need for quantifying attentional demands of dynamic tasks, with a credible basis in cognitive modeling and neuroscience. Recent developments in cognitive science have led to theories of cognition suggesting that brains are an advanced prediction engine. The function of this prediction engine is to support perception and action by continuously matching incoming sensory input with top-down predictions of the input, generated by hierarchical models of the statistical regularities and causal relationships in the world. Based on the capacity of this predictive processing framework to explain various mental phenomena and neural data, we suggest it also provides a plausible theoretical and neural basis for modeling attentional demand and attentional capacity “in the wild” in terms of uncertainty and prediction error. We outline a predictive processing approach to the study of attentional demand and inattention in driving, based on neurologically-inspired theories of uncertainty processing and experimental research combining brain imaging, visual occlusion and computational modeling. A proper understanding of uncertainty processing would enable comparison of driver's uncertainty to a normative level of appropriate uncertainty, and thereby improve definition and detection of inattentive driving. This is the necessary first step toward applications such as attention monitoring systems for conventional and semi-automated driving.
Original languageEnglish
Article number718699
JournalFrontiers in Neuroergonomics
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6162 Cognitive science

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