Casper Hesp

Casper Hesp
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Department of Brain and Cognition

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience, MSc Astrophysics

About

51
Publications
18,676
Reads
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663
Citations
Citations since 2016
50 Research Items
663 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Introduction
1. I study the emergence of social life in the context of neurocognitive evolution and development, using formal theory and high-performance computing. 2. I use principles that combine formal information-theoretic concepts with dynamical systems theory to understand how living systems maintain themselves ("active inference"). 3. To further current neuroscientific accounts of social cognition, I am developing a robust and tractable theory of emotional inference based on active inference. 4. I plan to use that framework to construct a computational ecology of multiple agents. 5. I simulate their neurocognitive co-evolution towards functional interactions enabled by shared expectations.
Education
September 2015 - January 2019
University of Amsterdam
Field of study
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
September 2015 - January 2019
University of Amsterdam
Field of study
  • Astrophysics
September 2011 - July 2015
University of Groningen
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (51)
Article
Full-text available
General relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations have revolutionized our understanding of black hole accretion. Here, we present a GPU-accelerated GRMHD code H-AMR with multifaceted optimizations that, collectively, accelerate computation by 2–5 orders of magnitude for a wide range of applications. First, it introduces a spherical grid...
Article
In this commentary, I first acknowledge points of common ground with the target article by Bruineberg and colleagues. Then, I consider how certain ambiguities could be resolved by considering spatiotemporal constraints on causality. In particular I show how blanket closure emerges from localized interactions between temporally separable subsystems,...
Preprint
Full-text available
This chapter takes inspiration from Wittgenstein’s thinking to formulate a non-reductive toolbox associated with generative modelling, specifically as applied in complex adaptive systems theory. It converges on a communal perspective on religion as multiscale active inference that contrasts starkly with common “straw person” perspectives on religio...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this commentary on the paper of Aguilera et al. titled "How particular is the physics of the free-energy principle", we argue that the applicability of the FEP should exhibit certain particularities in order to be informative for exciting frontiers of investigation such as (the emergence of) biological life. In our view, axiomatic formulations o...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers the phenomenology of depersonalisation disorder, in relation to predictive processing and its associated pathophysiology. To do this, we first establish a few mechanistic tenets of predictive processing that are necessary to talk about phenomenal transparency, mental action, and self as subject. We briefly review the important...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a version of neurophenomenology based on generative modelling techniques developed in computational neuroscience and biology. Our approach can be described as computational phenomenology because it applies methods originally developed in computational modelling to provide a formal model of the descriptions of lived experience in...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this commentary, I first acknowledge points of common ground with the target article by Bruineberg and colleagues. Then, I consider how certain ambiguities could be resolved by considering spatiotemporal constraints on causality. In particular I show how blanket closure emerges from localized interactions between temporally separable subsystems,...
Article
Full-text available
Meta-awareness refers to the capacity to explicitly notice the current content of consciousness and has been identified as a key component for the successful control of cognitive states, such as the deliberate direction of attention. This paper proposes a formal model of meta-awareness and attentional control using hierarchical active inference. To...
Article
Full-text available
We provide a proof of principle for an evolutionary systems theory (EST) of depression. This theory suggests that normative depressive symptoms counter socioenvironmental volatility by increasing interpersonal support via social signalling and that this response depends upon the encoding of uncertainty about social contingencies, which can be targe...
Article
Full-text available
Active inference offers a first principle account of sentient behavior, from which special and important cases-for example, reinforcement learning, active learning, Bayes optimal inference, Bayes optimal design-can be derived. Active inference finesses the exploitation-exploration dilemma in relation to prior preferences by placing information gain...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper considers the phenomenology of depersonalisation disorder, in relation to predictive processing and its associated pathophysiology. To do this, we first establish a few mechanistic tenets of predictive processing that are necessary to talk about phenomenal transparency, mental action, and self as subject. We briefly review the important...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a version of neurophenomenology based on generative modelling techniques developed in computational neuroscience and biology. We call this approach computational phenomenology because it applies methods originally developed in computational modelling to phenomenology. The first section presents a brief review of the project to n...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to leverage the free-energy principle and its corollary process theory, active inference, to develop a generic, generalizable model of the representational capacities of living creatures; that is, a theory of phenotypic representation. Given their ubiquity, we are concerned with distributed forms of representation (e.g., po...
Chapter
Full-text available
While there is a fast growing body of theoretical work on characterizing cumulative culture, quantifiable models underlining its dynamics remain scarce. This paper provides an active-inference formalization and accompanying simulations of cumulative culture in two steps: Firstly, we cast cultural transmission as a bi-directional process of communic...
Article
Full-text available
The positive-negative axis of emotional valence has long been recognized as fundamental to adaptive behavior, but its origin and underlying function have largely eluded formal theorizing and computational modeling. Using deep active inference, a hierarchical inference scheme that rests on inverting a model of how sensory data are generated, we deve...
Preprint
Full-text available
The unexpected outcomes of recent, high-profile elections and refer-endums highlight a lack of effective contemporary modelling of voting behaviours. We employ a framework borrowed from the field of cogni-tive neuroscience, namely active inference, in order to model agent-based voting behaviour by considering different generative models for subject...
Article
Black hole accretion is one of nature's most efficient energy extraction processes. When gas falls in, a significant fraction of its gravitational binding energy is either converted into radiation or flows outwards in the form of black hole-driven jets and disk-driven winds. Recently, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an Earth-size sub-millimetre...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we combine sophisticated and deep-parametric active inference to create an agent whose affective states change as a consequence of its Bayesian beliefs about how possible future outcomes will affect future beliefs. To achieve this, we augment Markov Decision Processes with a Bayes-adaptive deep-temporal tree search that is guided by...
Article
Full-text available
Through evolutionary computation, affective models may emerge autonomously in unanticipated ways. We explored whether core affect would be leveraged through communication with conspecifics (e.g. signalling danger or foraging opportunities). Genetic algorithms served to evolve recurrent neural networks controlling virtual agents in an environment wi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to leverage the free-energy principle and its corollary process theory, active inference, to develop a generic, generalizable model of the representational capacities of living creatures; that is, a theory of phenotypic representation. Given their ubiquity, we are concerned with distributed forms of representation (e.g., po...
Preprint
Full-text available
In their article on the growth of cognition, Wright and Bourke (2020) present a compelling account of the emergence of cortical substructures from antenatal network dynamics-without external inputs-and the subsequent post-natal development of these substructures as the network responds to complex visual stimuli. In order to supplement and (hopefull...
Preprint
Full-text available
Active inference offers a first principle account of sentient behaviour, from which special and important cases can be derived, e.g., reinforcement learning, active learning, Bayes optimal inference, Bayes optimal design, etc. Active inference resolves the exploitation-exploration dilemma in relation to prior preferences, by placing information gai...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metacognition refers to the capacity to access, monitor, and control aspects of one’s mental operations and is central to the human condition and experience. Disorders of metacognition are a hallmark of many psychiatric conditions and the training of metacognitive skills is central in education and in many psychotherapies. This paper provides first...
Article
Luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) and X-Ray binaries (XRBs) often contain geometrically thin, radiatively cooled accretion discs. According to theory, these are – in many cases – initially highly misaligned with the black hole equator. In this work, we present the first general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of very thin (h/r∼0.01...
Preprint
Full-text available
Black hole accretion is one of nature's most efficient energy extraction processes. When gas falls in, a significant fraction of its gravitational binding energy is either converted into radiation or flows outwards in the form of black hole-driven jets and disk-driven winds. Recently, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an Earth-size sub-millimetre...
Preprint
Full-text available
General-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations have revolutionized our understanding of black-hole accretion. Here, we present a GPU-accelerated GRMHD code H-AMR with multi-faceted optimizations that, collectively, accelerate computation by 2-5 orders of magnitude for a wide range of applications. Firstly, it involves a novel implemen...
Preprint
Full-text available
The positive-negative axis of emotional valence has long been recognised as fundamental to adaptive behaviour, but its domain-generality has largely eluded formal theories and modelling. Using deep active inference – a hierarchical inference scheme that rests on inverting a model of how sensory data are generated – we develop a principled Bayesian...
Preprint
In evolutionary computation, affective models may emerge autonomously in unanticipated ways. The survival of most life depends on the ability to approach fitness-increasing (i.e., positive) and avoid fitness-reducing (i.e., negative) stimuli. Species further leverage core affect through communication with conspecifics (e.g., signaling danger or for...
Article
Full-text available
We used a validated agent-based model—Socio-Emotional CONcern DynamicS (SECONDS)—to model real-time playful interaction between a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and its parent. SECONDS provides a real-time (second-by-second) virtual environment that could be used for clinical trials and testing process-oriented explanations of...
Article
Full-text available
We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biologica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) and X-Ray binaries (XRBs) tend to be surrounded by geometrically thin, radiatively cooled accretion discs. According to both theory and observations , these are-in many cases-highly misaligned with the black hole spin axis. In this work we present the first general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) and X-Ray binaries (XRBs) tend to be surrounded by geometrically thin, radiatively cooled accretion discs. According to both theory and observations , these are-in many cases-highly misaligned with the black hole spin axis. In this work we present the first general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations o...
Preprint
Full-text available
We used a validated agent-based model -- Socio-Emotional CONcern DynamicS (SECONDS) -- to model real-time playful interaction between a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and its parent. SECONDS provides a real-time (second-by-second) virtual environment that could be used for clinical trials and testing process-oriented explanati...
Chapter
Full-text available
We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biologica...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the course of its evolution, a black hole (BH) accretes gas from a wide range of directions. Given a random accretion event, the typical angular momentum of an accretion disc should be tilted by about degrees relative to the black hole spin axis. Misalignment causes the disc to precess at a rate that increases with BH spin and tilt angle. We pre...
Article
It has recently been proposed that if the Galactic dark matter halo were triaxial it would induce lumpiness in the velocity distribution of halo stars in the Solar Neighbourhood through orbital resonances. These substructures could therefore provide a way of measuring its shape. We explore the robustness of this proposal by integrating numerically...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context. It has recently been proposed that if the Galactic dark matter halo were triaxial it would induce lumpiness in the velocity distribution of halo stars in the Solar Neighbourhood through orbital resonances. These substructures could therefore provide a way of measuring its shape. Aims. We explore the robustness of this proposal by integrati...
Article
Ramstead et al. integrate the free-energy principle and evolutionary systems theory in order to develop a “meta-theoretical ontology of life”, called ‘variational neuro-ethology’ (VNE). We have highlighted some of the challenges that, we believe, researchers will encounter when using VNE as a heuristic for future research. The charge of “just-so” s...
Article
Full-text available
Gas falling into a black hole (BH) from large distances is unaware of the BH spin direction, and misalignment between the accretion disc and BH spin is expected to be common. However, the physics of such tilted discs (e.g., the angular momentum transport and ability to launch relativistic jets) is poorly understood. Using our new GPU-accelerated co...
Presentation
Full-text available
The survival of virtually all life forms depends heavily on being able to approach fitness-increasing (i.e., positive) stimuli and avoid fitness-reducing (i.e., negative) stimuli. Through natural selection, therefore, the distinction between positive and negative affect is deeply engrained in the neural systems of organisms of all complexities. Thi...
Thesis
Full-text available
Based on exploratory simulations, Rojas-Nino et al. (2012) have proposed that triaxiality in the Galactic dark matter halo might cause lumpiness in the velocity distribution of halo stars in the Solar Neighbourhood through orbital resonances. Accordingly, they have asserted that detecting the presence of substructures in velocity space may be a met...

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