Religious Experience in Predictive Minds

Predictive processing is a promising theoretical framework for explaining basic perception and cognition. But is it also useful for understanding religious experience? In this presentation I briefly present the predictive processing framework and its possible application in the study of religious experience. Recent theoretical and empirical work is discussed. One major challenge for this kind of research is to design experimental paradigms in which predictive processes can be studied in actual authentic religious practices. Early attempts that use eye-tracking, EEG, and fMRI to this end seem promising, but the ambitious goal of explaining religious experience in predictive minds has not been achieved.


Special seminar convened by the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology