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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 46 through 60 of 86 found.


Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Somatic

Assmann, Birte, et al. Self-Organization in Spontaneous Movements of Neonates Generates Self-Specifying Sensory Experiences. arXiv:1902.10169. As their extensive reference list attests, four German child psychologists based at the Free University of Berlin post a 2019 affirmation of the dynamical systems theory approach initiated in the mid 1990s by Esther Thelen, Linda Smith, (search herein) and others. This insight that infants and children learn and develop by way of complex behavioral iterations, as so does the rest of evolutionary nature and culture, is now established and practiced. Once again human and universe, child and cosmos, become one and the same.

Movement experience and the coordination of perception and action are the basis of developing body awareness, emotion, motivation and cognition and the sense of self. The four limbs play a key role in the developing sense of body ownership, agency and peripersonal space. Neonatal limb movements were investigated by way of respective processes of self-organization and developing body awareness. With increasing age a shift from configurations with proximal to distal positions suggests a role of the proximal-distal dimension in movement development. We conclude that self-organization in spontaneous movements provides neonates with perceptual body- and self-specifying stimuli involved in developing body awareness and postulate the involvement of emotional and cognitive essences. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Somatic

Bjorklund, David and Bruce Ellis. Children, Childhood, and Development in Evolutionary Perspective. Developmental Review. 34/3, 2014. We examine children, childhood, and development from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by reviewing major assumptions of evolutionary–developmental psychology, including the integration of “soft” developmental systems theory DST with ideas from mainstream evolutionary psychology. We then discuss the concept of adaptive developmental plasticity and describe the core evolutionary concept of developmental programming and some of its applications to human development, as instantiated in life history theory and environmental influence. We then discuss the concept of adaptation from an evolutionary–developmental perspective, including ontogenetic and deferred adaptations. We conclude that evolutionary theory can serve as a metatheory for developmental science. (Abstract)

At the core of developmental systems theoryis the concept of probabilistic epigenesis: “individual development is characterized by an increase in novelty and complexity of organization over time due to the sequential emergence of new structural and functional properties and competencies. In biology, epigenesis also refers to the complex biochemical system that regulates gene expression. A DST view describes ontogeny as a process of continuous, bidirectional interaction between components at all levels including the genetic, cellular, phenotypic, behavioral, ecological, and cultural. (227)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Somatic

Guidolin, Diego, et al. The “Self-Similarity Logic” Applied to the Development of the Vascular System. Developmental Biology. 351/156, 2011. University of Padova, Udine, and Bari medical morphologists here apply this mathematical insight originally posted in 2009 by neuroscientists Luigi Agnati, et al (search) to physiological purposes. We add in 2019 that the presence of such an innately universal repetition in kind has been found and robustly proven from human to universe.

From a structural standpoint, living systems exhibit a hierarchical pattern of organization that is nested within one another. Recently, it has been suggested that some auto similarity prevails at each level or developmental stage and a principle of “self-similarity logic” has been proposed to convey the concept of a multi-level organization in which similar rules (logic) serve at each level. This study suggests that such a principle is likewise apparent in many morphological and developmental aspects of the vascular system. In fact, not only the morphology of the vascular system exhibits a high degree of geometrical self-similarity, but its remodelling processes also seem to be characterized by almost the same rules. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Agnati, Luigi, et al. The Brain as a “Hyper-Network:” The Key Role of Neural Networks as Main Producers of the Integrated Brain Actions via the “Broadcasted” Neuroconnectomics. Journal of Neural Transmission. 125/6, 2018. As global studies of dynamic multiplex structures gain a robust credence, University of Modena, University of Genova, National Institute of Drug Abuse, USA, and University of Padova (Diego Guidolin) neuroscientists can describe an iconic micro-universe which distinguishes our cerebral endowment and human acumen.

Investigations of integrative cerebral activities involve neural networks, glial, extracellular molecular, and fluid channels networks. Here we propose that this phenomena can result in a brain hyper-network that has as fundamental components known as tetra-partite synapses. Global signalling via astrocyte networks and pervasive signals, such as electromagnetic fields (EMFs), allow the integration of various networks at crucial nodes level, the tetra-partite synapses. The concept of broadcasted neuroconnectomics is introduced to describe highly pervasive signals involved in the information handling of brain networks at miniaturisation levels. Thus, it is surmised that neuronal networks are the “core components” of the brain hyper-network. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Agnati, Luigi, et al. Mosaic, Self-Similarity Logic and Biological Attraction Principles. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 2/6, 2009. Senior scientists LA, University of Modena, Frantisek Baluska, University of Bonn, Peter Barlow, University of Bristol, and Diego Guidolin, University of Padova presciently discern an array of inherent structural features which take on a fractal as they recur at each and every minute neuronal to whole cerebral domains. Search each author for more contributions.

From a structural standpoint, living organisms are organized like a nest of Russian matryoshka dolls, in which structures are buried within one another. From a temporal view, this organisation is due to a history comprised of a set of time backcloths which have accompanied the passage of living matter from its origins up to the present day. The aim of the present paper is to indicate a possible course through time and suggest how today’s complexity has been reached by living organisms. This investigation will employ three conceptual tools, namely Mosaic, Self-Similarity Logic, and Biological Attraction principles.

Self-Similarity Logic indicates the self-consistency by which elements of a living system interact, irrespective of the spatio-temporal level. The term Mosaic indicates how, from a same set of elements assembled according to different patterns, it is possible to arrive at various constructions: hence, each system becomes endowed with different emergent properties. The Biological Attraction principle states that there is an inherent drive for association and merging of compatible elements at all levels of biological complexity. By analogy with the gravitation law in physics, biological attraction means that each living organism creates an attractive ‘field’ around itself. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Chang, Le and Doris Tsao. The Code for Facial Identity in the Primate Brain. Cell. 169/6, 2017. A main technical paper from Tsao’s CalTech lab about her collegial breakthrough decipherment of how pixelated neuronal architectures and mosaic areas are dynamically able to recognize whole faces. See also a commentary How Do We Recognize a Face? by Rodrigo Quiroga in this issue.

Primates recognize complex objects such as faces with remarkable speed and reliability. Here, we reveal the brain’s code for facial identity. Experiments in macaques demonstrate an extraordinarily simple transformation between faces and responses of cells in face patches. By formatting faces as points in a high-dimensional linear space, we discovered that each face cell’s firing rate is proportional to the projection of an incoming face stimulus onto a single axis in this space, allowing a face cell ensemble to encode the location of any face in the space. Using this code, we could precisely decode faces from neural population responses and predict neural firing rates to faces. Our work suggests that other objects could be encoded by analogous metric coordinate systems. (Abstract excerpt)

How individual faces are encoded by neurons in high-level visual areas has been a subject of active debate. An influential model is that neurons encode specific faces. However, Chang and Tsao conclusively show that, instead, these neurons encode features along specific axes, which explains why they were previously found to respond to apparently different faces. (R. Quiroga summary)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Di Ieva, Antonio, ed.. The Fractal Geometry of the Brain. New York: Springer, 2016. A Macquarie University, Sydney neuroscientist (search) collects the latest research in a dedicated volume on how much cerebral dynamics are graced and facilitated by nested self-similar topologies, aka “fractalomics.” Typical chapters are Does a Self-Similarity Logic Shape the Organization of the Nervous System? by Diego Guidolin, et al and The Fractal Geometry of the Human Brain: An Evolutionary Perspective by Michel Hofman (both Abstracts next). We also want to record parallel efforts by Luigi Agnati (search) and colleagues.

From the morphological point of view, the nervous system exhibits a fractal, self-similar geometry at various levels of observations, from single cells up to cell networks. From the functional point of view, it is characterized by a hierarchic organization in which self-similar structures (networks) of different miniaturizations are nested within each other. On this basis, the term “self-similarity logic” was introduced to describe a nested organization where at the various levels almost the same rules (logic) to perform operations are used. Thus, they can represent key concepts to describe its complexity and its concerted, holistic behavior. (Abstract excerpt, Guidolin, et al)

The evolution of the brain in mammals is characterized by changes in size, architecture, and internal organization. Also the geometry of the brain, and the size and shape of the cerebral cortex, has changed notably during evolution. Comparative studies of the cerebral cortex suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and development. In this chapter some design principles and operational modes that underlie the fractal geometry and information processing capacity of the cerebral cortex in primates, including humans, will be explored. (Abstract, M. Hofman)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Di Ieva, Antonio, et al. Fractals in the Neurosciences. Part I: General Principles. The Neuroscientist. 20/4, 2014. Brain researchers with posts in Canada, Austria, Spain, Poland and Venezuela offer a good review to date of realizations that nature’s ubiquitous recurrence of the same forms everywhere indeed also braces and graces our cerebral faculty, as it facilitates our constant cognitive activities.

The natural complexity of the brain, its hierarchical structure, and the sophisticated topological architecture of the neurons organized in micro-networks and macro-networks are all factors that limit an Euclidean geometry and linear dynamics. The introduction of fractal geometry for the quantitative description of complex natural systems has been a major paradigm shift. Modern neurosciences admit the prevalence of fractal properties such as self-similarity in the brain at molecular, anatomic, functional, and pathological levels. Fractal geometry is a mathematical model that offers a universal language for neurons and glial cells as well as the whole brain with its physiopathological spectrums. For a holistic view of fractal geometry of the brain, we review here the basic concepts and main applications. (Abstract excerpts)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Kwisthout, Johna, et al. Special Issue on Perspectives on Human Probabilistic Inference and the Bayesian Brain. Brain and Cognition. 112/1, 2017. An issue editorial for a collection of papers broadly about the predictive brain theory of Karl Friston and many colleagues. See for example, The Infotropic Machine, A Social Bayesian Brain, and Explanatory Pluralism.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Blanton, Richard and Lane Fargher. How Humans Cooperate: Confronting the Challenges of Collective Action. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2016. . In a broad retrospective, a Purdue University anthropologist and a National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico archaeologist join the rising consensus (our own cooperative synthesis) that communal groupings have an evolutionary precedence in fostering survival and prosperity. As individual members gain in return, a viable (democratic) collectivity best serves each and all. These findings are then braced by neurobiological, primatology, social intelligence, economic trading, and beyond.

. In a broad retrospective, a Purdue University anthropologist and a National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico archaeologist join the rising consensus (our own cooperative synthesis) that communal groupings have an evolutionary precedence in fostering survival and prosperity. As individual members gain in return, a viable (democratic) collectivity best serves each and all. These findings are then braced by neurobiological, primatology, social intelligence, economic trading, and beyond.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Physiology

Batty, Michael. Inventing Future Cities. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018. The latest volume by the emeritus Professor of Planning at the University College London (search) who has been a leading urban complex systems theorist and real neighborhood to metropolis practical applier. I used his Fractal London image for a slide in 2005. Batty and colleagues draw upon mathematical methods of cellular automata, multiples network, dynamic self-organization and more in these studies.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Physiology

Cogdell, Christina. Toward a Living Architecture?: Complexism and Biology in Generative Design. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. The UC Davis chair of design studies achieves a book-length survey of this multi-faceted endeavor, which harks back to Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Christopher Alexander and others. It’s broad intent is to conceive and put into practice an aware human abidance of person and community which draws from and continues natural, organic vitalities. The vital volume gathers an array of dreamers and doers such as Rachel Armstrong, Achim Menges, Michael, Weinstock and many more so to identify, orient and exhibit going forward, with notice of biomimicry, sustainable, green, urban plan, and more case studies. See also Architectural Digest for special issues about morphogenesis, social metabolism, self-organized patterns to avail nature’s best ideas.

Toward a Living Architecture? is the first book-length survey of the emerging field of generative architecture and its nexus with computation, biology, and complexity. Christina Cogdell reviews the sciences this springs from such as complex systems, evolutionary theory, genetics and epigenetics, and synthetic biology. In a narrative that moves from the computational toward the biological and from current practice to visionary futures, Cogdell uses life-cycle analysis to parse the material, energetic, and pollution differences between different digital and biological design and construction approaches.

Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens

Future > Old Earth

Schneider, Tapio, et al. Possible Climate Transitions from Breakup of Stratocumulus Decks under Greenhouse Warming. Nature Geoscience. Online February, 2019. As if we need another climate alarm, CalTech researchers note that Earth’s relative cloudiness plays an important part in maintaining a moderate temperature. But if the clouds go away due to excessive greenhouse gases, as they will, this disappearance will lead to runaway heat waves. The results are braced by paleoclimate studies which show that when this happened in the past, the planet did experience high temperatures. The work merited a news report A World Without Clouds by Natalie Wolchover in

Stratocumulus clouds cover 20% of the low-latitude oceans and are prevalent in the subtropics. They cool the Earth by shading large portions of its surface. However, as their scales are too small to be resolvable in global climate models, the effect of greenhouse warming has remained uncertain. Here we report how stratocumulus decks respond in large-eddy simulations that explicitly resolve cloud dynamics in a subtropical region. We find the stratocumulus decks become unstable and break up into scattered clouds when CO2 levels rise above 1,200 ppm. In addition to rising CO2 levels, this instability triggers a surface warming of about 8 K globally and 10 K in the subtropics. Once the stratocumulus decks have broken up, they only re-form when CO2 concentrations drop substantially below the level at which the instability first occurred. (Abstract)

Future > Old Earth

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. New York: Tim Duggan/Crown, 2019. The author is a national fellow of the New America Foundation, whose website is an alternate place for truth, knowledge and empowerment for all Americans and peoples to face and mitigate climate change, along with many other injustices. Drawing upon much research, many interviews, via lucid vision and prose, the timely work states that to make this land, and the whole stressed bioworld succeed as a cosmic home for hope and futurity, it must first sustainably survive. I cite cosmic because after 200 pages of environmental perils, a novel expansive vista is broached as an incentive. With reference to Adam Frank, Marina Alberti, Axel Kleidon (search names) and others, to fully grasp its auspicious import, we need view our maybe rarest Earth from an astrobiological perspective. A final Part IV is entitled The Anthropic Principle which notes how many evolutionary biospheric breaks in our favor had to occur to get us to this moment. By these lights and reason, a worldwide unity (New Earthica?) need be forged right away so to “think like a planet.”

It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts inhospitable. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action.

Future > Old Earth > Climate

Boers, Niklas, et al. Complex Networks Reveal Global Pattern of Extreme Rainfall Teleconnections. Nature Climate Change. January 30, 2019. Six atmosphere physicists including Jurgen Kurths with postings in the UK, Germany, and Russia quantify how even this liquid feature of regional and world weather can be found to exhibit nature’s intrinsic dynamics and topologies.

Climatic observables can be correlated across long spatial distances, and extreme events, such as heat waves or floods, are often related to such teleconnection. Here we display the global coupling pattern of extreme rainfall events by detecting complex networks in satellite data. We find that the distance distribution of significant connections around the globe decays via a power law up to distances of about 2,500 kilometres. We show that extreme-rainfall events in the monsoon systems of south-central Asia, east Asia and Africa are significantly synchronized. Analysis of the atmospheric conditions that lead to these global teleconnections confirms Rossby waves as the physical mechanism underlying these patterns. (Abstract excerpt)

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