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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 61 through 75 of 82 found.


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

Earth Life > Nest > Multicellular

Newman, Stuart, et al. The Vertebrate Limb: An Evolving Complex of Self-Organizing Systems. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 137/12, 2018. In a special issue on Biological Challenges in Morphogenesis, SN, New York Medical College, Tilmann Glimm, Western Washington University and Ramray Bhat, Indian Institute of Science describe the latest verifications which reveal how life draws on the same homologous formations in kind across the animal kingdoms from insects and birds to our human selves. See also Some Caveats to Mathematical Modeling in Biology by Scott Gilbert and The Extracellular Matrix as a Driving Force by Marta Linde-Medina and Ralph Marcucio.

Earth Life > Nest > Homo Sapiens

Schwartz, Jeffrey, ed. Rethinking Human Evolution. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018. A Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology edition from a September 2015 Konrad Lorenz Institute workshop on how the latest evidence steadily coming serves to revise the prior trajectories. Chapter authors include Ian Tattersall, Claudine Cohen, Peter Waddell and Markus Bastir.

Earth Life > Sentience > Brain Anatomy

Briscoe, Steven and Clifton Ragsdale. Homology, Neocortex, and the Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms. Science. 362/190, 2018. In a special Brain Development section, MPI Molecular Cell Biology, and University of Chicago researchers can now lay out the full homologous continuity of amniote neural formation. By this novel view, an expansive, mosaic and concerted ramification from earliest invertebrates to amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals becomes apparent. Once again, life’s cerebral faculty increasingly seems to evolve as if an embryonic gestation. Lastly homo and anthropo beings emerge as a major sapiensphere transition whom are cognitively able to reconstruct how me and we came to be. A third quote from the section introduction by Pamela Hines offer further urban analogy.

The six-layered neocortex of the mammalian pallium has no clear homolog in birds or non-avian reptiles. Recent research indicates that although these extant amniotes possess a variety of divergent and nonhomologous pallial structures, they share a conserved set of neuronal cell types and circuitries. These findings suggest a principle of brain evolution: that natural selection preferentially preserves the integrity of information-processing pathways, whereas other levels of biological organization, such as the three-dimensional architectures of neuronal assemblies, are less constrained. We review the similarities of pallial neuronal cell types in amniotes, delineate candidate gene regulatory networks for their cellular identities, and propose a model for the divergence of amniote pallial structures. (Abstract)

In neuroanatomy, pallium refers to the layers of grey and white matter that cover the upper surface of the cerebrum in vertebrates. In basal vertebrates the pallium is a relatively simple three-layered structure, encompassing 3-4 histogenetically distinct domains, plus the olfactory bulb. In mammals, the cortical part of the pallium registers a definite evolutionary step-up in complexity, forming the cerebral cortex, with simpler three-layered cortical regions allocortex at the margins. (Wikipedia)

The human brain contains billions of well-connected neurons. Neural neighborhoods perform different tasks: Some coordinate movement, whereas others hum along planning dinner. The mature brain is a complex assembly of networks, structures, and tracts. Like cities and their neighborhoods, however, the brain does not arise fully formed. Rather, operational patterns and developmental constraints guide the proliferating neurons that build the typical adult human brain. Just as cities are governed by both hard and soft infrastructure, the placement and function of neurons in the brain respond to multiple cues during development. (P. Hines, 170)

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Tomlinson, Gary. A Million Years of Music. New York: Zone Books, 2015. The Yale University professor of music and the humanities retraces how primates and hominids came to and communicated by rhythmic compositions, broadly conceived, before all manner of linguistic utterances began. Once again an original propensity for prosodic, communicative intonations is identified to have arisen first.

What is the origin of music? In the last few decades this question has been reinvigorated by new archaeological evidence and the fields of cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary theory. Starting at a period of human prehistory before Homo sapiens or music, Tomlinson describes the incremental attainments that led to musical gestures and soundings. He traces in Neandertals and early sapiens the accumulation and development of these capacities, and their coalescence into modern musical behavior across the last hundred millennia. Tomlinson builds a model of human evolution that revises our understanding of the interaction of biology and culture across evolutionary time-scales, enriching current models of our deep history. He draws in other emerging human traits: language, symbolism, a metaphysical imagination and complex social structure, and the use of advanced technologies.

Earth Life > Genetic Info > DNA word

Zolyan, Suren and Renad Zhdanov. Genome as (hyper)Text: From Metaphor to Theory. Semiotica. 225/1, 2018. Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kalingrad and Moscow State Pedagogical University senior scholars present a strongest claim to date of a natural identity between these preeminent generative codes. With a past reference to I. Kant and Johann Goethe, in our age of global communication a true “isomorphism” is evident for these informative processes. A common trait is their code script (Schrodinger) and sign system (semiotic) quality. A conclusion can then be stated. They are two prime manifest exemplars of an inherently literate cosmos. If we might fully appreciate, in closing a novel beneficial phase of “social genomics” is proposed.

The similarity between language and genetic information transmission has been recognized since molecular genetics was founded. Numerous attempts have been made to use linguistics techniques to decipher protein genes. However, this approach cannot describe a language nor the semantic and textual structures that are decisive for communication. A text should be regarded as an artifact of the creation, conservation and conveyance of information. A general theory should be capable of describing linguistic writings and the process of their structuring, functioning and transformation. A (hyper) text can be considered as a quasi-organism that possesses memory, creative-cognitive characteristics and communicative force, and a cell as a quasi-intelligence capable of manipulating semiotic entities. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Genetic Info > Genome CS

Lai, Qiang, et al. Monostability, Bistability, Periodicity and Chaos in Gene Regulatory Network. European Physical Journal Special Topics. 227/7-9, 2018. In a special issue on Nonlinear Effects in Life Sciences, a five member team from China, Vietnam and Ethiopia provide another example of this “connectivity” advance as genetic phenomena, as everywhere else, becomes understood as a reciprocal complementarity of DNA nodes with AND linkages, which altogether carries their generative informational program.

Gene regulatory network (GRN) is a group of molecular connections which controls the gene expression levels of mRNAs and proteins in the cell. The regulators can be deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), protein and other substances involved in regulation process. Their connections are very diverse and dynamically evolving. The gene expression commonly has two important processes: transcription and translation. The genes on DNA are first transcribed into mRNAs, and then mRNAs are translated into proteins. To understand the mechanism of gene expression, scientist study the GRN rather than a single genes, since it is now known as the key factor in determining the morphogenesis and phylogenesis of living organisms. As a strongly nonlinear complex system, gene regulatory network often produces various types of dynamic properties, such as multistability, synchronizatio, periodic oscillation, bifurcation, chaos, etc. (719)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Saxe, Andrew, et al. A Mathematical Theory of Semantic Development in Deep Neural Networks. arXiv:1810.10531. In a highly technical article, AS, Oxford University, James McClelland, Stanford University (original developer with David Rumelhart of Parallel Distributed Processing in the 1980s), and Surya Ganguli, Google Brain, CA advance this machine to brain revolution so as to better organize and encode knowledge by means of typicality and category coherence, optimal learning, invariant similarities and more. See a concurrent post Evolution of Scientific Networks in Biomedical Texts at 1810.10534.

An extensive body of empirical research has revealed remarkable regularities in the acquisition, organization, deployment, and neural representation of human semantic knowledge. These results raise a fundamental question: what are the principles governing the ability of neural networks to acquire, organize, and deploy abstract knowledge? We address this by analyzing the nonlinear dynamics of learning in deep linear networks. We find solutions to these learning dynamics that explain disparate phenomena in semantic cognition such as the hierarchical differentiation of concepts through developmental transitions, the ubiquity of semantic illusions between transitions, the emergence of category coherence which controls the speed of semantic processing, and the conservation of semantic similarity in neural representations across species. Our simple neural model can thus recapitulate diverse regularities underlying semantic development, while providing insight into how the statistical structure of an environment can interact with nonlinear deep learning dynamics results in these regularities. (Abstract edits)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Complementary Brain

Pesic, Peter. Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2018. A philosopher, pianist, and Director of the Science Institute at St. John’s College (the Great Books home) in Santa Fe here scores the past and present of our day and night melodic sensitivities. We especially note with M. Gazzaniga’s 2018 The Consciousness Instinct along with recent studies of “prosody” (search) as “patterns of rhythm and sound in poetry and language” which bring right brain sense to left brain text. Later chapters review the history of this dual cerebral asymmetry, the Nobel work of Roger Sperry, and currently of NYU neuroscientist Gyorgy Buzsaki (search) as he quantifies our microcosmic attunements.

Polyphony―the interweaving of simultaneous sounds―is a crucial aspect of music that has deep implications for how we understand the mind. How does a single mind experience those things as a unity (a motet, a fugue) rather than an incoherent jumble? Pesic argues that polyphony raises fundamental issues for philosophy, theology, literature, psychology, and neuroscience as they seek an apparent unity of consciousness in the midst of multiple simultaneous influences. A trace of Western polyphony from ninth-century church music to experimental modern compositions leads to considerations of analogous cerebral activities, a “music of the hemispheres” that shapes brain states from sleep to awakening. He goes on to discuss how neuroscientists draw on concepts from polyphony to describe the “neural orchestra” of the brain. (Publisher excerpts)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Bronfman, Zohar, et al. The Transition to Minimal Consciousness through the Evolution of Associative Learning. Frontiers in Psychology. December, 2016. Israeli scholars of science EB, Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka, with colleagues, continue their endeavor to properly identify life’s essential advance as a relative analogical increase in aware cerebral knowledge. In March 2019 The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul: Learning and the Origins of Consciousness by S. Ginsburg and E. Jablonka (MIT Press) will provide a book length essay. By this view, in some real way a bioworld and cosmos is on a track to evolve and emerge in complexity and sentience so to come to its own personal and communal senses.

The minimal state of consciousness is sentience. This includes any phenomenal sensory experience – exteroceptive, such as vision and olfaction; interoceptive, such as pain and hunger; or proprioceptive, such as the sense of bodily position and movement. We propose unlimited associative learning (UAL) as the marker of the evolutionary transition to minimal consciousness (or sentience), its phylogenetically earliest sustainable manifestation and the driver of its evolution. We define and describe UAL at the behavioral and functional level and argue that the structural-anatomical implementations of this mode of learning in different taxa entail subjective feelings (sentience). We end with a discussion of the implications of our proposal for the distribution of consciousness in the animal kingdom, suggesting testable predictions, and revisiting the ongoing debate about the function of minimal consciousness in light of our approach. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Esteban, Francisco, et al. Informational Structures: A Dynamical System Approach for Integrated Information. PLoS Computational Biology. September, 2018. Some eight decades ago, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin proposed that complexity and consciousness rose in an episodic tandem toward the human phenomenon. Here University of Jaen and University of Seville, Spain bio-mathematicians and philosophers contribute to its 2010s scientific confirmation as this theoretical version from Giulio Tononi, Christof Koch and others gains wide acceptance and usage. A view of informational fields in a continuous-time mode is advanced, which is seen to facilitate a global brain dynamics.

Integrated Information Theory (IIT) has become nowadays the most sensible general theory of consciousness. In addition to a deep theoretical basis, it opens the door for an abstract (mathematical) formulation. Given a mechanism in a particular state, IIT identifies a conscious experience with a conceptual structure, an informational object which exists, is composed of identified parts, is informative, integrated and maximally irreducible. This paper introduces a space-time continuous version of the concept of integrated information. To this aim, a graph and a dynamical systems treatment is used to define, for a given mechanism in a state for which a dynamics is settled, an Informational Structure, which is associated to the global attractor at each time of the system. A detailed description of its inner structure by invariants and connections between them allows to associate a transition probability matrix to each informational structure and to develop a measure for the level of integrated information of the system. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Lombardi, Olimpia and Cristian Lopez. What Does “Information” Mean in Integrated Information Theory? Entropy. 201/12, 2018. As a current example of how this ITT model is gaining wide avail, University of Buenos Aires and University of Lausanne quantum physicists (search each) propose ways to finesse and include this vital instructional complement of aware knowing consciousness.

Integrated Information Theory (IIT) intends to provide a principled theoretical approach able to characterize consciousness both quantitatively and qualitatively. By starting off with the fundamental properties of experience itself, IIT develops a framework that relates those properties to the physical substratum of consciousness. One of the central features is the role that information plays. In this paper, we will conceptually analyze the notion of information underlying ITT. We argue that information should be understood in the light of a causal-manipulabilist view, such that information must be involved in causal links in order to be precisely defined. (Abstract edits)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Gender

Moschella, Mary Clark. A Radical Revolution in the Making? Reflections. Fall, 2018. In a Sex, Gender, Power: A Reckoning edition of this Yale Divinity School publication, an YDS professor of pastoral care and counseling cites how a concept of gender complementarity has long been endorsed by Christian theology, but since Eve is derivative from Adam (or so the story goes, see Maulana Karenga herein for an African take) women are secondary and subservient to men. As everything about bigender has just now come under full review, Professor Mary advises that a egalitarian feminine and masculine complementarity can yield a true witness. She then identifies a strong scriptural basis, if one so chooses to allow and read.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Amazeen, Poleminia. From Physics to Social Interactions: Scientific Unifications via Dynamics. Cognitive Systems Research. 52/640, 2018. In a section on Innovative Dynamical Approaches to Cognitive Systems, an Arizona State University psychologist contributes to rootings of our daily human behaviors and activities within a physical substrate by way of dynamical, self-similar complex systems. In this regard, as long intimated, our days and ways are exemplary manifestations of a deeper mathematical source. When then might we be able to say it is and must be genetic in kind?

The principle of dynamical similitude—the belief that the same behavior may be exhibited by very different systems—allows us to use mathematical models from physics to understand psychological phenomena. For example, the two-frequency resonance map can be used to make predictions about the performance of multifrequency ratios in physical, chemical, physiological and social behavior. An overview is provided of other methods, including mass-spring modeling and multifractal analysis, that have been applied successfully to psychological phenomena. A final demonstration of dynamical similitude comes from the use of the same multifractal method that was used to extract team-level experience from the neurophysiological data of individual team members to the analysis of a large scale economic phenomenon, the stock market index. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Capraro, Valerio and Matjaz Perc. Grand Challenges in Social Physics: In Pursuit of Moral Behavior. arXiv:1810:05516. Middlesex University, UK and University of Maribor, Slovenia system theorists (search Perc here and both on arXiv) show how our personal and communal mores can be traced to, rooted in and explained by condensed matter phenomena. (An array of companion studies are also finding a quantum basis) As long intimated, ones days and nights on life’s tragic stage do spring from, exemplify and are choreographed by forces and designs beyond our simple ken. The promise of these insights, alluded here as fostering beneficial cooperations, would be an intentional ascent to a peaceable, humane sustainability.

Methods of statistical physics have proven valuable for studying the evolution of cooperation in social dilemma games. However, recent empirical research shows that cooperative behavior in social dilemmas is only one kind of a more general class of behavior, namely moral behavior, which includes reciprocity, respecting others' property, honesty, equity, efficiency, as well as many others. Inspired by these experimental works, we here open up the path towards studying other forms of moral behavior with methods of statistical physics. We argue that this is a far-reaching direction for future research that can help us answer fundamental questions about human sociality. Why did our societies evolve as they did? What moral principles are more likely to emerge? Can we predict the break out of moral conflicts in advance and contribute to their solution? These are amongst the most important questions of our time, and methods of statistical physics could lead to new insights and contribute towards finding answers (Abstract)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Physiology

Crosato, Emanuele, et al. On Critical Dynamics and Thermodynamic Efficiency of Urban Transformations. Royal Society Open Science. October, 2018. As realizations proceed that neural and social systems have a natural affinity and aim to seek and reside in an optimal balance of order and openness, University of Sydney complexity theorists including Mikhail Prokopenko report their presence throughout active city life. See also Thermodynamics and Computation during Collective Motion near Criticality by this collaborative group in Physical Review E (97/012120, 20180).

Urban transformations within large and growing metropolitan areas often generate critical dynamics affecting social interactions, transport connectivity and income flow distribution. We develop a statistical–mechanical model of urban transformations, exemplified for Greater Sydney, and derive a thermodynamic description highlighting critical regimes. We consider urban dynamics at two time scales: fast dynamics for the distribution of population and income, modelled via the maximum entropy principle, and slower dynamics evolving the urban structure under spatially distributed competition. Using the Fisher information, we identify critical thresholds and quantify the thermodynamic cost of urban transformation. Finally, we introduce the notion of thermodynamic efficiency of urban transformation, as the ratio of the order gained during a change to the amount of required work, showing that this measure is maximized at criticality. (Abstract excerpt)

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