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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 120 found.


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

Earth Life > Genetic Info

Eraslan, Gokcen, et al. Deep Learning: New Computational Modelling Techniques for Genomics. Nature Reviews Genetics. 20/7, 2019. We review this paper by Technical University of Munich researchers along with Deep Neural Networks for Interpreting RNA-binding Protein Target Preferences by Mahsa Ghanbari and Uwe Ohler in Genome Research (January 2020) as an example of how frontier AI neural net techniques derived from our own cerebral cognition are being readily applied to model and analyze genetic phenomena. By this wide utility, they serve as an archetypal exemplar of self-organizing complexities which are similarly invariant from quantum to social systems. OK

As a data-driven science, genomics largely utilizes machine learning to capture dependencies in data and derive novel biological hypotheses. However, the ability to extract new insights from the increasing volume of genomics data requires more expressive machine learning models. By leveraging large data sets, deep learning has transformed fields such as computer vision and natural language processing. Now, it is becoming the method of choice for many genomics modelling tasks such as the impact of genetic variation on gene regulatory mechanisms such as DNA accessibility and splicing. (Erasian Abstract excerpt)

Deep learning has become a powerful paradigm to analyze the binding sites of regulatory factors including RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), owing to its strength to learn complex features from multiple sources of raw data. However, the interpretability of these models has not yet been investigated in detail. We have designed a multitask and multimodal deep neural network to characterize in vivo RBP targets. Learning across multiple RBPs at once, we are can avoid experimental biases and identify RNA sequence motifs and transcript context patterns the most important for each individual RBP. (Ghanbari Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Somatic

Dehaene, Stanislav. How We Learn. New York: Viking, 2020. The College of France, Saclay cognitive neuroscientist and author (search) gives exposition to the latest findings about a deep, definitive capacity of human beings from a fetal stage through infancy and youth to form and hold an internal representation of their external environs. Three main parts – What is Learning?, How Our Brain Learns, and The Four Pillars: Attention, Active Engagement, Error Feedback, and Consolidation – are clearly put with an intent that an integrative neuroscience which emphasizes this activity can be availed for more appropriate teachings and schools. This knowledge-gaining process is seen to so distinguish our curious species that a new Homo Docens name is proposed as we ever educate ourselves.

Cortical folds in the fetus’s brain owe their spontaneous formation to a biochemical self-organization process that depends on both the genes and the chemical environment of the cells, requiring extremely little genetic information and no learning at all. Such self-organization isn’t nearly as paradoxical as it sounds – in fact, it is omnipresent on earth. (74)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Cerebral Form

Betzel, Richard. Organizing Principles of Whole-Brain Functional Connectivity in Zebrafish Larvae. Network Neuroscience. 4/1, 2020. An Indiana University neuropsychologist extends and applies the research advances that this MIT journal conveys about overall brain anatomy and physiology to this aquatic scale so as to find the same, analogous cognitive formations in effect across this middle meso-scale domain.

Network science has begun to reveal the fundamental principles by which large-scale brain networks are organized such as geometric constraints, a balance between segregative and integrative features, and functionally flexible brain areas. However, it remains unknown whether whole-brain networks imaged at the cellular level are organized according to similar principles. Here, we study whole-brain networks recorded in larval zebrafish which show that connections are distance-dependent and that networks exhibit a hierarchical modularity. Spontaneous network structure is also found to constrain stimulus-evoked net reconfigurations which are highly consistent across individuals. Thus, basic organizing principles of whole-brain functional brain networks are in effect at the mesoscale. (Abstract excerpt)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Complementary Brain

Albouy, Philippe, et al. Distinct Sensitivity to Spectrotemporal Modulation Supports Brain Asymmetry for Speech and Melody. Science. 367/1043, 2020. In a paper that merited an issue highlight, McGill University, Laval University and Aix Marseille University neuropsychologists including Robert Zatorre describe sophisticated experiments which reveal how our cerebral faculty proceeds to comport discrete wordy (digital) discourse to the left hemisphere, and continuous, meaningful (analog) content to the right side. Once again, these complementary modes are found to distinguish a whole, script + song = knowledge, microcosmic brain.

Does brain asymmetry for speech and music emerge from acoustical cues or from domain-specific neural networks? We filtered temporal or spectral modulations in sung speech stimuli for which verbal and melodic content was crossed and balanced. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data showed that the neural decoding of speech and melodies depends on activity patterns in left and right auditory regions, respectively. This asymmetry is supported by specific sensitivity to spectrotemporal modulation rates within each region. Our results suggest a match between acoustical properties of communicative signals and neural specializations adapted to that purpose. (Abstract excerpt)

To what extent does the perception of speech and music depend on different mechanisms in the human brain? What is the anatomical basis underlying this specialization? Albouy et al. created a corpus of a cappella songs that contain both speech (semantic) and music (melodic) information and degraded each stimulus in either the temporal or spectral domain. Brain scanning revealed a right-left asymmetry for speech and music. Classification of speech content occurred exclusively in the left auditory cortex, whereas classification of melodic content occurred only in the right auditory cortex. (Editor)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Models of Consciousness Conference. models-of-consciousness.org. A site for a September 2019 meeting at Oxford University on formal approaches to the mind-matter relation. A full book of Abstracts is available here. As the Summary says, it has become evident that studies of human sentience have gained a valid, brain-based, mathematic trace and credibility so they should rightly be a subject for academic erudition. A premier cadre such as Roger Penrose, Adam Barrett, Adrian Kent, Ian Durham, Peter Grindrod, and Tim Palmer (search for paper review) out of 37 presenters covered across a wide expanse. A leading topic and basis was Integrated Information Theory, see W. Marshall below, along with statistical physics, quantum phenomena, cognitive aspects and more.

Consciousness and its place in nature has been a great mystery for human beings and has been the focus of philosophical and religious investigations for millennia. Lately the subject has generated a worldwide interest among mathematicians, physicists, and others who aim to translate the results of quantifiable investigations into forma models. To date, a good part of this work has been pursued in isolation and outside of the academic mainstream. The aim of this conference is to begin to foster broad collaborations and the exchange of ideas between diverse researchers and theories. (Summary)

Integrated Information Theory: From Phenomenal to Physical: The dominant approach in consciousness science is to identify the neural activity which correlates with specific experiences. However, many have argued that its subjective nature makes it difficult to do this. Integrated information theory takes a different approach, starting from consciousness itself to identify essential properties, and then postulate what sort of physical substrate could support it. (William Marshall, Brock University, UK)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Cleeremans, Axel, et al. Learning to be Conscious. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. December, 2019. As the abstract cites, a “meta-representation” is a “second-order” stage of a brain’s conceptual content so that a person can know that they know. Eight Free University of Brussels cognitive psychologists conceive a synthesis akin to integrated information theory such that the more someone gains vital knowledge, the more actively aware s/he becomes. In regard, by a mega-historic view we might refer to the “Great Learning” of Chinese tradition (Sterckx, Roel) and our 21st century sapiensphere to get a retrospective upon our grand Earthly and cosmic endeavor of sentient self-realization.

Different theories of consciousness have proposed many mechanisms to account for phenomenal experience. Here, appealing to aspects of global workspace theory, higher-order theories, social theories, and predictive processing, we introduce a novel framework: the self-organizing meta-representational account (SOMA), in which consciousness is viewed as something that the brain learns to do. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of first-order representations. In this sense, consciousness is the brain’s (unconscious, embodied, enactive, nonconceptual) theory about itself. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Kleiner, Johannes and Sean Tull. The Mathematical Structure of Integrated Information Theory. arXiv:2002.07655. As another example of how these malleable IIT insights have gained much employ, University of Munich and Oxford University postdoc computational scholars scope out a generalization so as to give it even broader veracity. See also a companion paper Integrated Information in Process Theories at 2002.07654.

Integrated Information Theory is one of the leading models of consciousness. It aims to describe both the quality and quantity of the conscious experience of a physical system, such as the brain, in a particular state. In this contribution, we propound the mathematical structure of the theory, separating the essentials from auxiliary formal tools. We provide a definition of a generalized IIT which has IIT 3.0 of Tononi et al, as well as the Quantum IIT introduced by Zanardi et. al. as special cases. This provides an axiomatic definition of the theory which may serve as the starting point for future investigations and as an introduction for new researchers. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus and Jorn Diedrichsen. Peeling the Onion of Brain Representations. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 42/407, 2019. Columbia University and Western University, Ontario neurotheorists open by noting that the brain’s capability to compose, retain and refer to cognitive remembrances of external phenomena has long been debated. The issue is here cast in favor of informational memories via a nested, layered model. The chapter closes with a caveat that brains are not conventional computers. While they do contain stored content, some dynamic (enactive) system may yet be in effect.

The brain's function is to enable adaptive behavior in the world by processing information. The concept of representation links the information processed by the brain back to the world. Although disputed, making the connection between brain activity and what it represents requires knowing which aspects of brain activity matter, how the code works, and how it computes adaptive behavior. In this review, we argue that representation provides a useful link between dynamics and function and suggest which aspects of brain activity should be analyzed to achieve a representational understanding. We peel the onion of brain representations in search of layers (aspects of brain activity) that are involved in computation. (Abstract excerpt)

The onion of brain representations organizes the different aspects of brain-activity data into a nested hierarchy. As we peel it, we focus progressively on aspects that appear more directly related to the representational content. We hope to peel away layers that reflect developmental coincidences, random biological variation, and other epiphenomena without functional relevance, to arrive at the brain’s representational core: the neural code used by the brain itself to mind and manipulate the world. (427)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Mashour, George, et al. Conscious Processing and the Global Neuronal Workspace Hypothesis. Neuron. 105/5, 2020. This is a latest update by American, Dutch, and French neuroscientists including Jean-Pierre Changeux and Stanislas Dehaene on this school of thought, actually, whence local brain areas such as evaluative systems, long-term memory, perceptual systems, motor actions, and attention gather together in a common place from which knowing, responsive awareness can then arise. The paper compares this approach with Integrated Information Theory (see herein) and other ideas. A well-funded program to study both main views Neuroscience Readies for a Showdown Over Consciousness Ideas by Philip Ball in Quanta (March 6, 2019). As one may consider, it will not be either/or but a meld with each group bringing vital features to join in synthesis. In any event, these insightful methods assume a conscious ecomsos, as Christoph Koch avers, which seems made and meant to ascend into our creative sentience.

We review the central tenets and neuroanatomical basis of the global neuronal workspace (GNW) hypothesis, which attempts to account for the main scientific observations regarding the elementary mechanisms of conscious processing in the human brain. The GNW hypothesis proposes that, in the conscious state, a non-linear network ignition associated with recurrent processing amplifies and sustains a neural representation, allowing the corresponding information to be globally accessed by local processors. We examine this hypothesis in light of recent data that contrast brain activity evoked by either conscious or non-conscious contents, as well as during conscious or non-conscious states, particularly general anesthesia. We also discuss the relationship between the intertwined concepts of conscious processing, attention, and working memory. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Palmer, Tim. Human Creativity and Consciousness: Unintended Consequences of the Brain’s Extraordinary Energy Efficiency?. arXiv:2002.03738. This contribution by the Oxford University polyphysicist (search) was an invited talk at the Models of Consciousness Conference at Oxford in September 2019, see herein. As our human scientific acumen now seeks to unite with deep quantum physical origins, a reference to the cognitive dual process model with its opposite but complementary left and right, brain-like propensities is seen as a vital aspect. In accord, whatever will it take to realize that nature avails and requires this salutary balance at each phase and instance, so that it might at last be applied to resolve our political destructive conflict between them.

It is proposed that both our creativity and consciousness are consequences of the brain's extraordinary energy efficiency. These topics are treated separately, though have a common sub-structure. Creativity is seen to arise from a synergy between two cognitive modes which broadly coincide with Daniel Kahneman's systems 1 and 2. In the first, available energy is spread across a relatively large network of neurons. In the second, energy applies to a small subset of neurons in a deterministic operation. The notion of consciousness is then defined by way of a perceived awareness of nearby counterfactual worlds in state space. It is argued that in situations where quantum physics plays a role in the brain, it does so for reasons of energy efficiency. (Abstract excerpt)

The idea of changing from a mode of thinking where one focuses hard on a problem without distraction, to one where one simply relaxes, is suggestive of a switch in modes of cognition which refers to simply as “System 2” and “System 1” respectively. Kahnemann refers to System 2 as slow, effortful, logical, calculating; whilst System 1 is fast, automatic, frequent, emotional and stereotypic. Although it is simplistic to characterize cognition entirely in terms of such a dichotomy, it is conceptually convenient to do so here. (3)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Popiel, Nicholas, et al. The Emergence of Integrated Information, Complexity, and “Consciousness” at Criticality. Entropy. 22/3, 2020. An international neurotheorist collaboration posted at Western University, Canada, Monash University, Australia, and Research in Advanced Neurohabilitation, Italy suggests a way that the “critical brain hypothesis” (Chialvo, et al) can be joined with IIT so to reveal a similar poise in this model. Once again this state of dynamic balance is seen to be natural evolution’s preferred optimum.

A growing body of evidence has emerged suggesting that many disparate natural, and particularly biological, phenomena reside in a critical regime of dynamics on the cusp between order and disorder. More specifically, it has been shown that models tuned to criticality exhibit similar dynamics to the brain, which, has led to the emergence of the Critical Brain Hypothesis. Systems tuned to criticality exhibit a number of useful informational properties that allow for the efficient distribution of, and susceptibility to, information. (1)

Ultimately, this study is best framed in the context of the emerging complexity of our world. The brain is one of the most complex objects ever studied and the theory of it acting critically is gaining credence. New research into critical systems has shown that criticality may be useful for learning, and for optimizing information processing. Phase transitions and criticality are gaining more relevance, and the evidence in this paper demonstrates that by defining consciousness with IIT and using the Ising model as a substrate, ‘consciousness’ undergoes a phase transition at criticality in the investigated neural network motifs. This, when combined with evidence that the brain may be critical, suggests that ‘consciousness’ may simply arise out of the tendency of the brain to self-organize towards criticality. (8-9)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Conscious Knowledge

Tagliazucchi, Enzo. The Signatures of Conscious Access and its Phenomenology are Consistent with Large-scale Brain Communication at Criticality. Consciousness and Cognition. 55/136, 2017. A Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience scholar (search ET website) scopes out a necessary synthesis of the global workspace and integrated information models, see G. Mashour, et al above. By so doing, he adds a further aspect by noting a move toward and poise at an active critical mode.

Conscious awareness refers to information processing in the brain that is accompanied by subjective, reportable experiences. Current models of conscious access propose that strong sensory stimuli can ignite a global network of regions which allows further processing. The immense number of possible experiences indicates that activity associated with awareness must be highly differentiated. However, information need also be integrated to account for the unitary nature of consciousness. We present a computational model that identifies conscious access by way of self-sustained percolation in an anatomical network. We show that the amount of integrated information is maximal at the critical state threshold. (Abstract excerpt)

In conclusion, we proposed that the two influential theories could be compatible when considered as addressing different aspects of consciousness. While the motivation behind the development of both theories might be different, the criticality hypothesis offers a picture in which experimental predictions from both of them can successfully co-exist. It is therefore important to focus future efforts on testing this model, especially whether incoming sensory information propagates to the edge of becoming self-sustained. (146)

Earth Life > Integral Persons > Symbiotic Self

Moura, Joelson, et al. Theoretical Insights of Evolutionary Psychology. Evolutionary Biology. January, 2020. Brazilian biopsychologists survey the latest understandings of how human cognition and behavior necessarily are rooted in and are influenced by these long past experiences. The more that this real connection is validly appreciated, it is said the better we can live peacefully today.

In this article, we present the central ideas of evolutionary psychology, and discuss how their assumptions can help ethnobiologists to understand the dynamic relationship between people and their environments. In this sense, investigating this relationship from an evolutionary perspective can bring new empirical evidence about human evolution, also contributing to both evolutionary psychology and evolutionary ethnobiology.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Brazil, Rachel. The Physics of Public Opinion. Physics World. January, 2020. A journalist surveys the welling field of sociophysics (search) which seeks to trace and explain human social behaviors like political voting patterns by way of principles such as phase transitions, percolation theory and Ising models. The work of Serge Galam and Herman Makse is especially noted.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

Contoyiannis, Y., et al. Self-Organized Criticality in an Epidemic Spread Model. arXiv:2004.00682. We select this entry by six Greek physicists among many current papers which seeking to achieve a complex network system analysis for its notice of critical phenomena even this virulent social area. In our cruelest April, however might it dawn that a deeper realm of mathematic codings which inform and constrain our fraught lives are just being revealed?

The previously introduced model of self-organized criticality is here adapted to the case of a virus-induced epidemic. In regard, our study highlights the critical value of virus density over a population. For low values it is proved that the virus-diffusion behavior is safe and is quantitatively similar to epidemical data. But close to the critical point, a critical slowing-down phenomenon emerges. Additionally, the epidemic behavior holds to a second order phase transition. For virus density values higher that the critical value, the epidemic duration becomes extremely prolonged. All these results, together with effective interventions such as contact restriction measures, documents their scientific worthiness. (Abstract)

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