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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 76 through 90 of 102 found.


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

Earth Life > Nest > Gaia

Payne, Jonathan, et al. The Evolution of Complex Life and the Stabilization of the Earth System. Interface Focus. June, 2020. For an issue on The Origin and Rise of Complex Life, Stanford, Tufts, Yale, and University of Hawaii biogeologists advance understandings of planetary bioregulations as they long proceeded to modify and tailor environmental conditions to organismic life’s advantage.

Earth's increasing habitability could result from: (i) a decrease in the intensity of interactions among species; (ii) a decrease in the prevalence or intensity of geological triggers; (iii) a decrease in the sensitivity of animals to environmental disturbance; or (iv) an increase in the strength of stabilizing feedbacks within the climate system and biogeochemical cycles. There is evidence from palaeontology, geochemistry and comparative physiology that animals have become more resilient to an environmental change and that the evolution of complex life has, on the whole, strengthened stabilizing feedbacks in the climate system. The differential success of certain phyla and classes appears to result from anatomical solutions to the evolution of macroscopic size that arrived during Ediacaran and Cambrian time. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Nest > Gaia

Steffen, Will, et al. The Emergence and Evolution of Earth System Science. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. 1/1, 2020. In this inaugural issue of a new Nature journal, eight veteran Earth scientists including Jane Lubchenco, Hans Schellnhuber, and Tim Lenton provide a status report from V. Vernadsky’s biosphere to J. Lovelock’s Gaia alive model and onto current needs to foster an ecosphere vitality. See also Genealogies of Earth System Thinking by Giulia Rispoli in the same issue.

Earth System Science (ESS) is an emerging transdisciplinary endeavour aimed at appreciating the structure and function of the Earth as a complex, adaptive system. Here, we discuss this integral merit of ESS, and it’s value for understanding global change. Inspired by early work on biosphere–geosphere interactions and by novel perspectives such as the Gaia hypothesis, ESS emerged in the 1980s to meet the need for a new ‘science of the Earth’. ESS has produced new concepts and frameworks which much serve environmental issues, such as the Anthropocene phase, tipping points and planetary boundaries. Moving forward, the grand challenge for ESS is to integrate biophysical processes with populous human dynamics to attain a truly unified vision of the Earth System. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Nest > Gaia

Zahnie, Kevin and Richard Carlson. Creation of a Habitable Planet. Meadows, Victoria, et al, eds. Planetary Astrobiology. Tempe: University of Arizona Press, 2020. This opening chapter by NASA Ames and Carnegie Institution for Science astroscholars provides a local and cosmic (cosmocal) scenario by way of a deep review of the accretive formation of Hadean Earth, geochemical, metallic and energetic aspects, onto origin studies, how crucial water is, and more. A theme which runs through the volume is then noted as a growing realization that our home planet and solar array are not typical at all, but a rare, optimum occasion.

When the Copernican Principle is applied to a discussion of the origin and evolution of Earth, it suggests that the solar system should be typical, with Earth typical of orbital planets, and life evolving on Earth as typical. To date there is no evidence that any of this typecasting is true. The Anthropic Principle can lead to a very different perspective. In the known universe there are some 100 billion galaxies each containing 100 billion stars. If most stars have presumed planetary systems, we might expect on the order of 1022 planetary systems. If Earth as we know it is a near miracle that occurs once in say 1019 chances, there would still be 1000 Earths in the cosmos. (16, edits)

Earth Life > Sentience > Brain Anatomy

De la Fuente, Ildefonso, et al. Evidence of Conditioned Behavior in Amoebae. Nature Communications. 10/369, 2009. Twelve Spanish systems biologists describe the clever ways by which to perceive the life’s associative learning method in effect even in these early, unicellular organisms.

Associative memory is the main type of learning by which complex organisms endowed with evolved nervous systems respond to environmental stimuli. It has been found in different multicellular species, from cephalopods to humans, but never in individual cells. Here we describe a motility pattern consistent with associative conditioned behavior in the microorganism Amoeba proteus. We confirm a similar behavior in a related species, Metamoeba leningradensis. Thus, our results indicate that unicellular organisms can modify their behavior during migration by associative conditioning. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Sentience > Brain Anatomy

Ng, Renny, et al. Neuronal Compartmentalization: A Means to Integrate Sensory Input at the Earliest Stage of Information Processing. BioEssays. July, 2020. UC San Diego neurobiologists graphically demonstrate how life’s developmental propensity to form functional modules persists from initial rudiments across the span of invertebrate and mammalian species. From the get-go, neural operations are performed by bounded cellular whole units.

In peripheral sense organs, external stimuli are detected by sensory neurons compartmentalized within structures of cuticular or epithelial tissue. Beyond developmental constraints, such compartmentalization allows grouped neurons to functionally interact. Here, we review the prevalence of these units, describe compartmentalized neurons, and consider interactions between cells. Particular attention is paid to insect olfaction with well‐characterized mechanisms of functional, cross‐neuronal interactions. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Sentience > Brain Anatomy

Sumner-Rooney, Lauren and Julia Sigwart. Do Chitons have a Brain? New Evidence for Diversity and Complexity in the Polyplacophoran Central Nervous Systems. Journal of Morphology. 279/7, 2018. Oxford University and Queen’s University, Belfast neuroanatomists well quantify that these early invertebrates do indeed have a rudimentary semblance of a brain-like faculty. Thus life’s evolution can be seen to cerebrally and cognitively stir, sense and quicken from its original rudiments.

Three‐dimensional reconstructions from historic histological slides reveal unappreciated complexity in chiton nervous systems. The concentration and organisation of nervous tissue in the oesophageal nerve ring in eight species unambiguously qualify it as a true brain. (Editor)

Chitons are benthic marine molluscs found from the intertidal to abyssal depths across the globe. The class is characterised by eight articulated dorsal shell valves, which protect the foot, viscera and pallial cavity. Most species graze the substrata using a biomineralised radula. They lack cephalic eyes and tentacles, but possess an extensive network of sensory pores in the valves, of which some have evolved to form ‘shell eyes’ capable of true image formation. Their simple body plan (dorsal shell, ventral foot; anterior mouth, posterior anus) has been purported to reflect a plesiomorphic or ‘primitive’ state within mollusks. (1)

Earth Life > Sentience > Evolution Language

Prieur, Jacques, et al. The Origins of Gestures and Language. Biological Reviews. 95/3, 2020. Free University of Berlin and Normandie University paleolinguists advance understandings of the important role of early simian hand, eye and bodily motions as a form of rudimentary proto-language.

Investigating the deeper mechanisms of human and non‐human primate communication systems can shed light on the evolutionary roots of language. Reports on great apes suggest that gestures have been a crucial prerequisite for language. We review three processes that can explain this: phylogenetic ritualisation, ontogenetic ritualisation, and learning via social negotiation. Our scenario postulates that primates' communication is a complex trait shaped by a cost–benefit trade‐off of signal production in relation to four interlinked evolutionary and life cycle factors: species, individual and context‐related characteristics as well as behavioural characteristics. (Abstract excerpt)

WumanKinder: An EarthSphere Transition in Individuality

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Dresp-Langley, Birgitta. Seven Properties of Self-Organization in the Human Brain. Big Data and Cognitive Computing.. 4/2, 2020. In this MDPI online journal, a CNRS University of Strasbourg, France research director provides an extensive survey of how nature’s proclivity to organize itself so distinguishes our cerebral development and cognitive abilities.

The principle of self-organization has become a significant part of the emerging field of computational philosophy. Self-organizing systems have been described in various domains in science and philosophy including physics, neuroscience, biology, medicine, ecology, and sociology. In regard, there are (at least) seven key properties of self-organization identified in brains: 1) modular connectivity, 2) unsupervised learning, 3) adaptive ability, 4) resiliency, 5) plasticity, 6) local-to-global arrangement, and 7) dynamic system growth. These are defined here via insights from neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience and Adaptive Resonance Theory (S. Grossberg), and from physics to show that self-organization achieves functional stability and plasticity with minimum complexity. (Abstract excerpt)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Papadimitriou, Christos, et al. Brain Computation by Assemblies of Neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117/14464, 2020. Veteran Columbia University, Georgia Tech, and Graz University of Technology computer scientists propose and discuss ways how the content of neural associations might be projected and traced all the way to thoughtful linguistic results.

Our expanding understanding of the brain at the level of neurons and synapses, and the level of cognitive phenomena such as language, leaves a formidable gap between these two scales. Here we introduce a computational system which promises to bridge this gap: the Assembly Calculus. It encompasses operations on assemblies of neurons, such as project, associate, and merge, which appear to be implicated in cognitive phenomena, and can be shown, analytically as well as through simulations, to be plausibly realizable at the level of neurons and synapses. We demonstrate the reach of this system by proposing a brain architecture for syntactic processing in the production of language, compatible with recent experimental results. (Significance)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Velazquez, Jose Luis Perez. On the Emergence of Cognition: From Catalytic Closure to Neuroglial Closure. Journal of Biological Physics. 46/1, 2020. The systems neurophysician (search) now sited at the Ronin Institute posts an integral contribution so to admit and perceive a natural, ascendant primacy of informed consciousness. In regard, a neuronal synchrony of segregation and integration phases are seen to distinguish cerebral activity. A self-sustaining fluorescence is then traced from biochemistry to biobrains. See also Neuronal Compartmentalization by Renny Ng, et al in BioEssays (July 2020) for another view of an oriented cognitive development, and. Consciousness as an Emergent Phenomenon by Ramon Guevara, Diego Mateos and JLP Velazquez (Google title, names, June 2020).

In an analogous manner as occurred during the development of a connected metabolism that at some point reached what is called “life” ― due to a catalytic closure phenomenon when chemicals started to autocatalyze themselves into a linkage of chemical reactions ― it is here proposed that cognition and consciousness arose as a consequence of another type of closure within the nervous system. As proper brain function attains an efficient web of connections and a complexity of coordinated activities by cell networks, the emergent properties of cognition and consciousness occur. Seeking to identify main features of nervous system organization for optimal function, it is here proposed that while catalytic closure yielded life, it is the cerebral feature of neuroglial closure which produced cognition/consciousness. (Abstract edits)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Gender

Scheuringer, Andrea et al. Recruiting the Right Hemisphere: Sex Differences in Inter-Hemisphere Communication during Semantic Verbal Fluency. Brain and Language. August, 2020. In this year which also represents a bicameral balance, University of Salzburg cognitive psychologists quantify that while men tend to form left intra-hemisphere clusters, women engage in whole brain inter-hemisphere right and left side integral cognition. So once again by way of another perspective, the same dot reduce and image expand proclivities are evident.

Troyer et al. (1997) suggested that verbal fluency requires the cooperation of two different strategies, clustering and switching. The clustering strategy refers to the generation of words within one sub-category, described as a relative automatic process. The switching strategy reflects the generation of successive words not belonging to the same subcategory, requiring increased cognitive flexibility and reflecting a more effortful process. (2)

In line with results from previous behavioral studies that men prefer a clustering, while women prefer a switching strategy, men show stronger activation in the clustering network, while women show stronger activation in the switching network. Finally, a more inter-hemispheric connectivity pattern in women might underlie their previously observed superior task performance. In sum, our results suggest that distinct patterns of inter-hemispheric interaction may explain previously observed sex differences in performance and strategy use during verbal fluency (11)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Symbiotic Self

Bolis, Dimitris and Leonhard Schilbach. “I Interact Therefore I Am:” The Self as an Historical Product of Dialectical Attunement. Topoi. 39/2, 2020. In a special section about The Relational Self (A. Ciaunica), MPI Psychiatry social neuroscientists make a strong case for the evident mutuality of ones “psychophysiological identity,” as situated within an active socialcultural milieu. In regard, an internal/external dialectic, free energy, Bayesian ways, a shared intentionality and more are seen to be in a formative effect. And wouldn’t it be grand if after separated for so long, these me and We = US complements and triplements could finally return to and confirm their natural ubuntu, Taoist origins.

In this article, moving from being to becoming, we construe the ‘self’ as a dynamic process rather than as a static entity. To this end we draw on dialectics and Bayesian accounts of cognition so to holistically consider the ‘self’ as the interplay between internalization and externalization. Internalization here stands for bodily hierarchical models of the (social) world and the organism, while externalization is taken as the collective transformation of the world. These processes form a dialectic between the collective and the individual such that the self is a historical product of dialectical attunement across multiple time scales. Altogether, we suggest that social interactivity allows us to view the ‘self’ not as static individual but how it emerges and manifests in social relations. (Abstract excerpt)

wumanomics > Integral Persons > Symbiotic Self

Ciaunica, Anna. The Relational Self: Basic Forms of Self-Awareness. Topoi. 39/2, 2020. An introduction by the University of Porto cognitive philosopher to a special section with this title. Akin to Nathalie Gontier’s (University of Lisbon) 2020 view of reticulate evolutionary networks, the papers at long last converge on a dual reciprocity of a person’s own individuality as formed and maintained by way of many social interactions. See, for example, The We in Me: Minimal Relational Selfhood by Joe Higgins, An Ecological Perspective on the Relational Self in Autism by Axel Constant, et al, and I Interact Therefore I Am by Dimitris Bolis and Leonhard Schilbach, reviewed herein. So after decades of studying separate selves and groupings, on a planet beset by polarity of free me vs. social control, such a natural mutuality could become its resolve. A once and future ubuntu universe, golden mean balance of I am because We are might just save us in this elective, end/begin year.

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

Harvard Human Immunomics Initiative. Google key words. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, this is an April 2020 Harvard School of Public Health project which seeks to foster global collaborations to gather, coordinate, study, test and advance the broad endeavor of effective vaccines. Frontier applications of AI and deep learning methods are a key feature. It is alluded that the result might ultimately act as a planetary immune system with better responses. For a companion effort, see Here’s How to Use Tech to Turn COVID-19 Tragedy into a Global Immune System (Google) on the Atlantic Council website. For complex system insights see Quantitative Immunology for Physicists by Gregoire Altan-Bonnet, et al in Physics Reports (Vol. 849, 2020, search). This site has also broached a Global Geonome component in the Cultural Code section

wumanomics > Phenomenon > Physiology

votsis, Athanasios and Riina Haavisto. Urban DNA and Sustainable Cities. Frontiers in Environmental Science. 7/4, 2019. We cite this entry because these Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki geographers consider how a broadly conceived analog genetic-like source code may help explain many features of smaller and larger dynamic human habitations. See also A Model of Urban Evolution based on Innovation Diffusion by Juste Raimbault at arXiv:2004.15023 for similar views.

The concept of Urban DNA has served to describe how a set of growth parameters may encode the manner in which cities evolve in space and the forms they may assume. The five growth coefficients of the SLEUTH (Slope, Land-use, Exclusion, Urban, Transport, Hillshade) cellular automaton model of land use change are often seen as genetic in kind. It is also important to understand whether urban DNA classes relate to outcomes in terms of livability and sustainability. The results distinguish six such types of cities: multinodal, dispersed cities, with mixed outcomes; multinodal, contiguous, slow-growing; transport-oriented, dispersed, fast-growing; large, buzzy, constrained; dense, contiguous, fast-growing; and transport-oriented, contiguous, interactive cities. (Abstract excerpt)

The paper aims to develop a behavioral taxonomy of cities by discerning their urban DNA and exploring the performance of city types in a variety of livability and sustainability indicators and indices. (1-2) Urban (regional) DNA is an analogy to biological DNA: it consists of growth coefficients similar to how proteins compose biological DNA. The notion has found resonance in urban growth processes which encode rules that dictate how the repetition of elementary socio-spatial entities achieves certain urban forms and urban functions across scales. (3)

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