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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 91 through 105 of 127 found.


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

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Somatic

Torre, Kjerstin, et al. Fractal Properties in Sensorimotor Variability Unveil Internal Adaptations of the Organism before Symptomatic Functional Decline. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/15736, 2019. University of Montpelier, France neurophysiologists provide a robust technical illustration to date of how a person’s course from a viable somatic fractal geometry to its debilitating loss can be availed as a good measure of relative health or illness. So it does seem our fates may lie in the same mathematics and geometries that suffuse the stellar raiment.

If health can be defined as adaptability, then measures of this feature are crucial. Convergent findings across clinical areas have established that fractal properties in bio-behavioural variability can express a person’s healthy condition, and its adaptive capacities in general. However, the literature mainly discriminates between healthy vs. pathological states, rather than a course in between. We show that distinct types of fractal properties in sensorimotor behaviour characterize impaired functional ability, along with internal adaptations for maintaining performance despite the imposed constraints. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Somatic

Trujillo, Cleber, et al. Complex Oscillatory Waves Emerging from Cortical Organoids Model Early Human Brain Network Development. Cell Stem Cell. Online August 29, 2019. A 16 person team based at the UC San Diego, School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital including Alysson Muotri describe how these rudimentary neuron net formations yet appear to attain a modicum of cerebral sensitivities. Intricate graphic displays illustrate how our nascent humankinder sapiensphere seems able to retrospectfully quantify the myriad individual capacities it well arose from. The breakthrough work merited a science review Organoids are not Brains: How are They Making Brain Waves by Carl Zimmer in the New York Times for August 29, 2019.

Structural and transcriptional changes during early brain maturation follow fixed developmental programs defined by genetics. However, whether this is true for functional network activity remains unknown, primarily due to experimental inaccessibility of the initial stages of the living human brain. Here, we developed human cortical organoids that dynamically change cellular populations during maturation and exhibited consistent increases in electrical activity over the span of several months. These results show that the development of structured network activity in a human neocortex model may follow stable genetic programming. Our approach provides opportunities for investigating and manipulating the role of network activity in the developing human cortex. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Sizemore, Ann, et al. The Importance of the Whole: Topological Data Analysis for the Network Neuroscientist. Network Neuroscience. 3/3, 2019. In this special geometry issue, University of Pennsylvania researchers including Danielle Bassett provide a tutorial review of understandings about how our bicameral brains are graced by a dynamic array of multiplex webworks. The presence of an algebraic topology and a persistent homology, aka homological algebra, is seen to provide mathematical explanations. Simplical complexes are also identified as they serve to organize and inform. Some eight decades after C. S. Sherrington famous enchanted loom metaphor, the field of brain studies has finally reached a full quantification. See also Topological Gene Expression Networks Recapitulate Brain Anatomy and Function by Alice Patania, et al, and Columnar Connectome by Ana Wang Roe in the same issue.

Data analysis techniques have fundamentally improved our understanding of neural systems and the complex behaviors they support. Yet the restriction of network techniques to pairwise interactions does not take into account intrinsic topological features that are crucial for system function. To detect and quantify these topological features, we turn to algebro-topological methods that encode data as a simplicial complex built from sets of interacting nodes called simplices. We also provide an introduction to persistent homology that builds a global descriptor of system structure. We detail the mathematics and perform demonstrative calculations on the mouse structural connectome, synapses in C. elegans, and genomic interaction data. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Zheng, Mengsen, et al. Topological Portraits of Multiscale Coordination Dynamics. arXiv:1909.08809. Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, researchers MZ, William Kalies, Scott Kelso and Emmanuelle Tognoli (search SK and ET) continue their studies of metastable systems in the case of our daily human interactivities. The advance herein is a novel ability to create graphic visualizations, which notably are reached by the same simplicial complex, persistent homology, and algegraic topology methods as used by neuroscientist to reveal how the brain works (Danielle Bassett). A Topological Recurrence Plots Reveal Structures in Complex Coordination Patterns section implies the presence of an independent mathematics and geometry which manifest itself everywhere.

Living systems exhibit complex yet organized behavior on multiple spatiotemporal scales. To investigate multiscale coordination in living systems, one needs to quantify the complex dynamics in both theoretical and empirical realms. This work shows how integrating approaches from computational algebraic topology and dynamical systems may help meet this challenge. First, we argue why certain topological features and their scale-dependency are relevant to understanding complex collective dynamics. We then propose a way to capture topological information using persistent homology. Finally, the method is tested by detecting transitions from experimental rhythmic coordination in ensembles of interacting humans. Such multiscale portraits highlight collective aspects of coordination patterns that are irreducible to individual parts. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Complementary Brain

Li, Mike, et al. Transitions in Information Processing Dynamics at the Whole-Brain Network Level are Driven by Alterations in Neural Gain. PLoS Computational Biology. Online October, 2019. University of Sydney, Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Queensland, and Stanford University systems neuroscientists including Joseph Lizier provide another window upon how and why cerebral cognition proceeds by way of an active sequence and balance of bringing together and moving apart, which conceives a one and/or many optimum complementarity.

A key component of the complex flexibility of the brain is its ability to adapt its functional network structure between integrated and segregated brain states. Integrated states are prevalent for tasks such as maintaining items in memory, consistent with models of a global workspace architecture. Recent work has suggested that the balance between integration and segregation is under the control of ascending neuromodulatory systems, via changes in neural gain. In this study, we show that the gain-mediated phase transition involves the dynamics of the subcritical (segregated) regime for information storage, whereas the supercritical (integrated) regime is associated with information transfer. Operating near to the critical regime with respect to modulating neural gain parameter appears to provide computational advantages which offer flexibility in the information processing. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Chang, Acer, et al. ICT Information Closure Theory of Consciousness. arXiv:1909.13045. ARAYA, Inc., Tokyo neuroscientists including founder CEO Ryota Kanai (Google) situate their work within the growing endeavor to define and align sentient awareness with its relative knowledge content such as integrated information, global workspace and predictive processing models. An attempt is then made to finesse and join these aspects into an ICT synthesis that can fully express a systemic integration of working information for a more complete theory.

Information processing in neural systems can be described and analysed at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Generally, information at lower levels is more fine-grained and can be coarse-grained in higher levels. In this article, we introduce a new informational theory of consciousness: Information Closure Theory of Consciousness (ICT). We hypothesise that conscious processes form non-trivial informational closure (NTIC) with respect to the environment at certain coarse-grained levels. This hypothesis implies that conscious experience is confined due to informational closure from conscious processing to other coarse-grained levels. The implications of ICT naturally reconciles issues in many existing theories of consciousness and demonstrates that information can be the common language between consciousness and physical reality. (Abstract excerpt)

Global Brain has invested in ARAYA, an AI Startup aiming to develop the world first Artificial Consciousness and related technologies such as edge AI and autonomous agent technologies. As the continued lead investor, Global Brain (GB) has made investments in ARAYA (CEO: Ryota Kanai), a Japan-based AI startup aiming to develop systems with Artificial Consciousness technologies, (July 22, 2019 press release)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Khajehabdollahi, Sina, et al. Emergence of Integrated Information, Complexity, and Consciousness at Criticality. bioRxiv. January 15, 2019. Western University, Ontario physicists and a psychologist theorize that recent evidential perceptions of sentience rising in tandem with knowledge can be seen as seeking an optimum balanced state between relative order and disorder. See also Criticality as a Determinant of Integrated Information in Human Brain Networks by Hyoungkyu Kim and UnCheol Lee herein for a similar surmise.

Using the critical Ising model of the brain, integrated information as a measure of consciousness is evaluated by generic neural network models. Monte Carlo simulations are run on 159 random weighted networks analogous to small 5-node neural network motifs. The integrated information generated by this sample is quantified across the model parameter space. It is observed that integrated information, as a type of order parameter not unlike a concept like magnetism, undergoes a phase transition at the critical point in the model. This critical point is where the ‘consciousness’ of the system is maximally at a boundary between an ordered and disordered form. This study adds further evidence to support that the emergence of consciousness coincides with the more universal patterns of self-organized criticality, evolution, the emergence of complexity, and the integration of complex systems. (Abstract excerpt)

This result, combined with a body of evidence highlighting the preferred state of critical systems suggests that, like many other complex phenomenon, consciousness may simply follow from/emerge out of the tendency of a system to self-organize to criticality. (1)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Kim, Hyoungkyu and UnCheol Lee. Criticality as a Determinant of Integrated Information in Human Brain Networks. Entropy. 21/10, 2019. As this well quantified perception of a deep, evolutionary relation between sentient awareness and knowledge content grows in validity and employ, University of Michigan Medical School, Center for Consciousness Science researchers advise that a further feature seems to be an optimum state of critical poise between a more or less orderly condition. As being found everywhere from quantum physical bases to natural and social phases (see Critical Complementarity) cerebral phenomena likewise proceed to fine tune themselves in this way. A concurrent, independent paper Emergence of Integrated Information, Complexity, and Consciousness at Criticality (Sina Khajehabdollahi, herein) comes to the same finding.

Integrated information theory (IIT) describes consciousness as integrated across differentiated knowledgeable systems. However, in a complex dynamic brain, the optimal conditions for integrating information have not been elucidated. In this study, we propose that network criticality, a balanced state between a large variation in functional configuration and a large constraint on structural configuration, may be the basis of the emergence of an integrated information. We tested these hypotheses with a whole brain network model and high-density electroencephalography (EEG) during various levels of human consciousness under general anesthesia. The EEG study demonstrated an explicit relationship between criticality, and level of consciousness. (Abstract excerpt)

Criticality was originally introduced for studying phase transition in physics, simply defined as a balanced state between order and disorder. This property has been observed broadly in physical and non-physical systems and has been suggested as an optimal state for information storage, transmission, and integration. In particular, several computational modeling and empirical studies suggest that the brain dynamics associated with consciousness reside near a critical state. (1)

We demonstrated for the first time an explicit relationship between criticality, integrated information, and human consciousness with computational modeling and EEG analysis. We propose that network criticality is a condition for integrated information. Understanding this relationship may open a new way to study diverse states of consciousness situated near to and far from a critical state. (12)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Koch, Christof. The Feeling of Life Itself. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2019. The veteran neuroscientist (search) is now is President and Chief Scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. A decade after his Consciousness book, this edition continues to affirm that a form of sentient awareness pervades and vivifies human and animal realms and much beyond. But any purely computational basis or machine-like embodiment is ruled out. In collaborator with Giulio Tononi (search), the core theme is an exposition of his popular Integrated Information Theory (IIT), which as the section reports, traces a parallel path of personal awareness and complex knowledge. (This 2010s version is a quite fulfills Pierre Teilhard’s 1930s evolutionary pairing of complexity and consciousness, whom Koch lauds in his earlier work.) The Global Neuronal Workspace model is then reviewed along with double detail and image hemispheres, which altogether seem to infer a waxing worldwide Uber-Mind. In closing, Koch notes that this tandem ascent well recovers a 21st century scala naturae, once again from deep substance to human acumen.

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Mediano, Pedro, et al. Beyond Integrated Information. arXiv:1909.02297. Imperial College London, and University of Sussex theorists including Anil Seth provide a technical finesse of this popular IIT approach, which by its closer to truth facility is gaining increased usage such as this instance. Karl Friston’s (search) predictive brain is another example of a good idea which is catching on.

Most information dynamics and statistical causal analyses rely on the intuition that causal interactions are intrinsically pairwise, so that a 'causal arrow' can be drawn between them. However, this creates some problems with the concepts of 'dynamical complexity' or `integrated information.' To address this, we combine partial information decomposition and integrated information, and obtain what we call Integrated Information Decomposition, or ΦID. We show how our ΦID model can better analyse interdependencies in multivariate time series, and shed light on collective modes of information dynamics that have not been reported before. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Cultural Code

Aerts, Diederik and Lester Beltran. Human Language: A Boson Gas of Quantum Entangled Cognitions. arXiv:1909.06845. We want to notice this endeavor, albeit with many theoretical flourishes, by Brussels Free University interdisciplinary thinkers (search) so to broach a synthesis across these spatial and temporal stretches of physical and linguistic essays. By turns, an implication could be that the natural cosmos is deeply textual in kind. Whatever “scriptome” language could it then be written in?

We model a sample text of human language which tells a story by means of a quantum structure describing a Bose gas in a Bose-Einstein condensate near absolute zero. For this we introduce energy levels for the concepts (words) in the story and also introduce the new notion of “cognition” as the quantum of human language. Concepts are then “cognitions” in different energy states as it is the case for photons in different energy states of frequency radiation. We show that Bose-Einstein statistics delivers a good model for these pieces of texts telling stories, as well for short and long (novels) stories. From this new perspective we conjecture that the way to understand how similar concepts are identical and indistinguishable in human language is also how quantum particles identical and indistinguishable in physical reality, providing new evidence for our conceptuality interpretation of quantum theory. (Abstract flavor)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Zingg, Christian, et al. What is the Entropy of a Social Organization? Entropy. 21/9, 2019. ETH Zurich, System Design researchers including Frank Schweitzer achieve a novel network characterization of behavioral activities by overtly viewing members as node points which are then linked by constant, informational interconnections. By this constructive application, still another archetypal manifestation of nature’s quantome to genome, neurome, and textome universality continues forth to grace our busy groupings.

We quantify a social organization’s potentiality to attain different network configurations in which nodes correspond to individuals and edges to their multiple interactions. Altogether these models are treated as a network ensemble. To have the ability to encode interaction preferences, we choose the generalized hypergeometric form of random graphs, as described by a closed-form probability distribution. From this distribution we calculate Shannon entropy as a measure of potentiality. This allows us to compare different organizations as well as different stages in their development. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated using data from three empirical and two synthetic systems. (Abstract edits)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Religion and Science

Ecklund, Elaine, et al, eds. Secularity and Science: What Scientists Around the World Really think About Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Seven ethnic scholars based at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy report upon a large survey of various cultural and national views about either a consilience or an opposition of spiritual beliefs and evidential findings. A mélange then spans a spectrum from a northern/western disdain for religion, which leaves a senseless profanity in its place while an Asian scientist cab see his research as a way to learn more about a divine presence and natural creation. But sociological studies have a new urgency since the indigenous protest against the Mauna Kea telescope has actually shut it down. One might recall Galileo’s answer to the Cardinals that he made his spyglass so to achieve a better view of God’s numinous cosmos.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Macrohistory

Henriques, Gregg, et al.. The Tree of Knowledge System: A New Map for Big History. Journal of Big History. 3/4, 2019. A James Madison University psychologist and colleagues present an updated version of a nested cosmic evolutionary procession from universe to humans which our collective inquiry is just coming to verify and realize. It is then compared with this companion BH project, along with other models such as the major transitions scale (see the next section). See also The Star-Galaxy Era in Terms of Universal Evolution by Leonid and Anton Grinin in this same issue.

This article summarizes the Tree of Knowledge (ToK) System (Henriques, 2003; 2011), and compares and contrasts its depiction of cosmic evolution as four “dimensions of existence” (Matter, Life, Mind and Culture) with Big History’s eight thresholds of complexity. Both systems are concerned with the current fragmentation in academic knowledge and advocate a more consilient and integrative vision that places the disciplines in coherent relationship to each other. The major differences between the two perspectives are how the ToK conceptualizes the various stages, with more emphasis on psychological aspects. In regard, Matter, Life, Mind and Culture are seen to occur due to semiotic or information processing systems that give rise to strongly emergent properties. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > major

Erwin, Douglas. Tempos and Modes of Collectivity in the History of Life. Theory in Biosciences. Online September, 2019. The National Museum of Natural History paleobiologist posts a latest explanatory synthesis for life’s well documented episodic, scalar emergence from bioreplicators to linguistic entities. In collaboration with Santa Fe Institute and Arizona State University theorists, Erwin adds a salutary aspect of a collective computation at work. A further vital inclusion is evolution as a learning process due to Richard Watson, Eors Szathmary (co-originator with John Maynard Smith of the major transitions view) and others. These expansions are then seen to bolster evidence for a constant convergence throughout. A surmise might be that along with nodal elements, integral nature is graced with an equally real propensity to join into symbiotic communal groupings which altogether survive and develop toward our composite humankinder perception. This article is part of the Special Issue on Quantifying Collectivity.

Collective integration and processing of information have increased through the history of life, through both the formation of aggregates in which the entities may have very different properties and which jointly coarse-grained environmental variables (ranging from microbial consortia to diverse coral reef species) and through collectives of similar entities (cells within an organism or social groups). Such increases have been implicated in significant transitions in the history of life, including aspects of the origin of life, the generation of pangenomes among microbes and stromatolite communities, multicellularity and social insects. Here we provide a preliminary overview of the dominant modes of collective information processing in the history of life, their phylogenetic distribution and extent of convergence, and the effects of new modes for integrating and acting upon information upon the tempo of evolutionary change. (Abstract)

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