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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 121 through 135 of 139 found.


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

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

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

Drozdz, Stanislaw, et al. Complexity in Economic and Social Systems. Entropy. April, 2020. Polish Academy of Sciences theorists SD, Jaroslaw Kwapien, and Pawel Oswiecimka open a special issue for papers all about how some manner of common mathematical programs become manifestly apparent in a wide expanse of human activities.

Social phenomena like the emergence of communication and cooperation, build-up of hierarchies and organizations, opinion formation, the emergence of political systems, and the structure and dynamics of financial markets are all among the iconic examples of the
real-world complexity. Although much has already been done and much has been achieved, the complexity of the social and economic systems is still far from being properly understood. We intend this Special Issue to cover a broad variety of complexity-related topics and methods in the following fields: macroeconomics, financial markets, epidemiology, opinion formation, social systems, quantitative linguistics, and time series analysis. We especially encourage to submit manuscripts that report studies carried out with models of heterogeneous interacting agents, complex networks, multifractal analysis, non-extensive statistical mechanics, and non-extensive entropy. (Summary excerpt)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Human Societies

St-Onge, Guiliaume, et al. School Closures, Event Cancellations and the Mesoscopic Localization of Epidemics in Networks with Higher-Order Structure. arXiv:2003.05924. We cite this current posting by Laval University, Quebec theorists including Laurent Hebert-Dufresne among a burst of papers as evidence for the inherent presence of an independent mathematical domain which then manifestly influence the dynamic spreadings.

The COVID-19 epidemic is challenging in many ways, such as failures of the surveillance system. Here, we discuss a higher-order description of epidemic dynamics on networks that provides a natural way of extending interaction models beyond simple pairwise contacts. We show that unlike the classic diffusion standard, higher-order interactions can give rise to a mesoscopic locus where the epidemic concentrates around certain substructures in the network. Unlike standard models of delocalized dynamics, epidemics in a localized phase can suddenly collapse when facing an intervention operating over structures rather than individuals. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Physiology

Bettencourt, Luis, et al. The Interpretation of Urban Scaling Analysis in Time. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. February, 2020. In this consummate, integral year, University of Chicago, Santa Fe Institute, and Arizona State University theorists including Jose Lobo can proceed to quantify and affirm that our citified human habitations are indeed graced and braced by nested, recurrent similarities. By so doing, as many others attest, a sense of a metabolic urban organicity is akin to everywhere else is achieved. By virtue of these advances which imply a mathematic guidance, better self-organized abides can be availed.

In this consummate, integral year, University of Chicago, Santa Fe Institute, and Arizona State University theorists including Jose Lobo can proceed to quantify and affirm that our citified human habitations are indeed graced and braced by nested, recurrent similarities. By so doing, as many others attest, a sense of a metabolic urban organicity is akin to everywhere else is achieved. By virtue of these advances which imply a mathematic guidance, better self-organized abides can be availed.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Physiology

Raimbault, Juste. Cities as They Could Be: Artificial Life and Urban Systems. arXiv:2002.12926. The University College London systems geographer (search) continues his re-imaginations of human proto-cellular habitations by way of the latest complex self-similar network dynamics. See also Hierarchy and Co-evolution Processes in Urban Systems (2001.11989), Multi-dimensional Urban Network Percolation (1903.07141) and Modeling Interactions between Transportation Networks and Territories (1902.04802).

The metaphor of cities as organisms has a long history in urban planning, and a few urban modeling approaches have explicitly been linked to Artificial Life. We propose in that paper to explore the extent of Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence application to urban issues, by constructing and exploring a citation network of around 225,000 papers. It shows that most of the literature is indeed application of methodologies and a rather strong modularity of approaches. We finally develop ALife concepts which have a strong potential for the development of new urban theories. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > Religion and Science

Lightman, Bernard, ed.. Rethinking History, Science and Religion: An Exploration of Conflict and the Complexity Principle. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019. A latest collection from an international conference in Rio de Janeiro in mid 2017 about this multifaceted, recalcitrant issue. The “complexity” theme was meant to consider whether a common resolve could be possible, or a diverse, pluralist view is more apt. Some entries are History and the Meaning(s) of Evolution by Ian Hesketh, The Instantiation of Historical Complexity, and Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s Interpretation of Science in Islam by Sarah Qidwai.

Earth Life > Phenomenon > major

Carmel, Yohay and Ayelet Shavit. Operationalizing Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. February, 2020. Technion-Israel Institute of Technology scholars present a most comprehensive study to date of life’s ratcheted, sequential, scalar emergence of distinct “personal” organisms at each stage, which is now accepted as a valid structure. As the Abstract says, an interplay of diverse component entities as they join in bounded interactivity repeats in kind at each nested phase. With this consistency thoroughly described, Yohay Carmel notes that he is now at work on their further application as our homo sapiens transitions its global anthropic worldly consummation.

Evolutionary transitions in individuality (ETIs), such as the transition to multi-cellularity and to social colonies, have been at the centre of evolutionary research, but only few attempts were made to systematically operationalize this concept. Here we devise a set of four indicators intended to assess the change in complexity during ETIs: system size, inseparability, reproductive specialization and non-reproductive specialization. We then conduct a quantitative comparison across multiple taxa and their ETI. Our analysis reveals that inseparability has a crucial role in the process; it seems irreversible and may mark the point where group members become a new individual at a higher hierarchical level. Interestingly, we find that disparate groups demonstrate a similar pattern of progression along ETIs. (Abstract)

Earth Life > Phenomenon > major

Chavalarias, David. From Inert Matter to the Global Society: Life as Multi-level Networks of Processes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. February, 2020. This synoptic survey which alludes to a next planetary phase is reviewed more in Network Physics.

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

Future > Old Earth

Otto, Ilona, et al. Social Tipping Dynamics for Stabilizing Earth’s Climate by 2050. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 117/2354, 2020. Fourteen scientists posted in Germany, Ghana, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Scotland, mainly based at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research including Hans Schellnhuber put together a comprehensive array of planetary and practical energetic and metabolic aspects that need be addressed with popular synchrony over the next thirty years.

Achieving a rapid global decarbonization to stabilize the climate depends on activating contagious and fast-spreading processes of social and technological change within the next few years. Drawing on an expert workshop, and a review of literature, we propose interventions to induce positive social tipping dynamics and a real global transformation to carbon-neutral societies. These initiatives comprise removing fossil-fuel subsidies and boosting decentralized energy generation, building carbon-neutral cities, divesting from fossil fuels assets, strengthening climate education, engagement, and greenhouse gas emissions information. (Significance)

Future > Old Earth > Climate

Eroglu, Denz et al. Multiplex Recurrence Networks. arXiv:2003.03309. DE, Norbert Marwan and Jurgen Kurth, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Martina Stebich, Senckenberg Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology, Weimar describe how the latest network theories and unfolding intricacies can provide deeper insights about nature’s untangled vegetation and active weather reports. An example is a reconstruction of paleopollen from Lake Sihailongwan in northern China.

We have introduced a novel combined multiplex recurrence network (MRN) approach in order to investigate multivariate time series. The value of this approach is demonstrated on coupled map lattices and on typical palaeobotany findings. In both examples, topological changes in the MRNs allow for the detection of regime changes in their dynamics. The method advances the interpretation of pollen records by considering the vegetation as a whole and the intrinsic similarity of the different regional vegetation elements. (Abstract excerpt)

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