The ‘free energy principle’ (FEP) has been suggested to provide a unified theory of the brain, integrating data and theory relating to action, perception, and learning. The theory and implementation of the FEP combines insights from Helmholtzian ‘perception as inference’, machine learning theory, and statistical thermodynamics. Here, we provide a detailed mathematical evaluation of a suggested biologically plausible implementation of the FEP that has been widely used to develop the theory. Our objectives are (i) to describe within a single article the mathematical structure of this implementation of the FEP; (ii) provide a simple but complete agent-based model utilising the FEP and (iii) to disclose the assumption structure of this implementation of the FEP to help elucidate its significance for the brain sciences.
The free energy principle for action and perception: A mathematical review
Christopher L. Buckley, Chang Sub Kim, Simon McGregor, Anil K. Seth
Journal of Mathematical Psychology
Volume 81, December 2017, Pages 55-79