Table_4_Deficits in Prediction Ability Trigger Asymmetries in Behavior and Internal Representation.pdf
Predictive coding is an emerging theoretical framework for explaining human perception and behavior. The proposed underlying mechanism is that signals encoding sensory information are integrated with signals representing the brain's prior prediction. Imbalance or aberrant precision of the two signals has been suggested as a potential cause for developmental disorders. Computational models may help to understand how such aberrant tendencies in prediction affect development and behavior. In this study, we used a computational approach to test the hypothesis that parametric modifications of prediction ability generate a spectrum of network representations that might reflect the spectrum from typical development to potential disorders. Specifically, we trained recurrent neural networks to draw simple figure trajectories, and found that altering reliance on sensory and prior signals during learning affected the networks' performance and the emergent internal representation. Specifically, both overly strong or weak reliance on predictions impaired network representations, but drawing performance did not always reflect this impairment. Thus, aberrant predictive coding causes asymmetries in behavioral output and internal representations. We discuss the findings in the context of autism spectrum disorder, where we hypothesize that too weak or too strong a reliance on predictions may be the cause of the large diversity of symptoms associated with this disorder.