In a new study published in Nature Physics, a team of researchers from Spain has shown that emergence in neuronal networks can be explained as a noise-driven phenomenon that is controlled by the interplay between network topology and intrinsic neuronal dynamics.
The view of emergence in neural networks as a noise-driven phenomenon differs from the common view in which the bursts of neuronal pulses are controlled by specific leader neurons assisted by the network architecture. In the noise-driven explanation, the nucleation sites do not actively initiate the firing process, but collect and amplify the firing activity that originated elsewhere.
"The mechanism of noise focusing emerges naturally in any system with interconnected integrate-and-fire units (like neurons), so its effect should also be present in the brain," Orlandi said. "If this effect is important in the brain, or by contrast, if the brain has other mechanisms to counter its effect, is still an open question.
To this end, Martens and Coworkers have recently implemented the simplest form of nonlocal coupling that can be achieved using a hierarchical network with two subpopulations: within each subpopulation, oscillators are coupled strongly, ....
Compelling evidence recently shows that oscillations and synchronization of multiple oscillators is an essential requisite in living cells. Coupling of oscillatory patterns, and their synchronization into a rhythm is emerging as the underpinning of essential processes of life. Recent studies based on the use of single-cell techniques indicate that the rhythms in peripheral tissues are self-sustained networks of oscillations fashioned at single cell level, and rapid progress has been made in unraveling the molecular component of the clock, albeit with a still incomplete picture.
...It is just this collective dynamics which makes possible the self-movement of the system, allowing a continuous change of the organism without disrupting its fundamental unity. This property is missing in nonliving systems which are fundamentally passive. The main actor of the time evolution of the organism is not the ensemble of molecules but the ensemble of their correlations.
...The system therefore enters into a state which in the physical jargon is termed “coherent state”. The energy of an ensemble of components in a coherent state is lower than the energy of the same ensemble in a noncoherent state, since the onset of coherence eliminates all the “useless” movements of components which give rise to the entropy of the system and concentrates the energy on a smaller number of degrees of freedom able to use this energy to produce external work ....
...Therefore, what keeps the molecular components correlated among them not in a pairwise way but in a truly collective many-body way is not the electromagnetic field whose production would demand energy but the electromagnetic potential whose appearance in a coherent system produces a net saving of energy
The history of city formation in Iran shows that the establishment of cities was based on topographic and geopolitics issues expressed in conformity with nature and climate intermingled with creativity.
Theory of Architecture Conference aims firstly to focus on reveal the historical and actual definition of creativity and to open such topics like aesthetical autonomy and functionality into discussion with reference to historic examples and (naturally) to the pure theoretical perspectives.
Research sheds light on how patterns form in bird feathers Enlarge. Feathers exhibit complex pigment patterns and can be a great model to learn how morphogenesis patterns stem cells into organized tissues.
Color patterns of bird plumage affect animal behavior and speciation. Diverse patterns are present in different species and within the individual. Here, we study the cellular and molecular basis of feather pigment pattern formation. Melanocyte progenitors are distributed as a horizontal ring in the proximal follicle, sending melanocytes vertically up into the epithelial cylinder which gradually emerges as feathers grow. Different pigment patterns form by modulating the presence, arrangement, or differentiation of melanocytes .
Telling the story of Fractal Geometry, till its usage in complexity theory, very nicely done.
For centuries, fractal-like irregular shapes were considered beyond the boundaries of mathematical understanding. Now, mathematicians have finally begun mapping this uncharted territory. Their remarkable findings are deepening our understanding of nature and stimulating a new wave of scientific, medical, and artistic innovation stretching from the ecology of the rain forest to fashion design. The documentary highlights a host of filmmakers, fashion designers, physicians, and researchers who are using fractal geometry to innovate and inspire.
In thinking about system design, it’s important to avoid the temptation to develop detailed top down blueprints for systems. Taleb observes that “if about everything top-down fragilizes and blocks antifragility and growth, everything bottom-up thrives under the right amount of stress and disorder.” Nevertheless, there are certain design principles that emerge from Taleb’s work that can help reduce the fragility of the systems we design.
Thanks to new observation technologies, powerful software, and statistical methods, the mechanics of collectives are being revealed.
Without obvious leaders or an overarching plan, this collective of the collective-obsessed is finding that the rules that produce majestic cohesion out of local jostling turn up in everything from neurons to human beings. Behavior that seems impossibly complex can have disarmingly simple foundations. And the rules may explain everything from how cancer spreads to how the brain works and how armadas of robot-driven cars might someday navigate highways. The way individuals work together may actually be more important than the way they work alone.
Leonardo On-Line is the web site of Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, which publishes with the MIT Press: Leonardo, Leonardo Music Journal, Leonardo Electronic Almanac.
Since the early 1980s, artist Hubert Duprat has been utilizing insects to construct some of his "sculptures." By removing caddis fly larvae from their natural habitat and providing them with precious materials,
Kant's distinction between works of art and those of nature leaves us in a quandary. The production of the artifact within nature herself poses a problem---even more so when an aesthetic aspect is involved. Whether the insect is a craftsperson or whether, more generally, nature is a creator of forms, the consideration, within nature, of an aesthetic dimension is the stumbling block of science.
One of the answers of contemporary biology to this problem involves the notion of teleonomy put forward by Jacques Monod:
All artefacts are the product of a living being, which thus, and in a particularly evident way, expresses one of the basic properties which characterize all living beings without exception---the property of being objects endowed with a project which they at once represent in their structures and accomplish by their performance (such as, for example, the creation of artifacts).
Monod,moreover, acknowledges that the teleonomic character of living beings is in contradiction with the objectivity of nature, and that this epistemological contradiction is the core problem of biology.
For current biology, the concept of teleonomy would replace both erstwhile finalism and Kantian teleological judgment. According to Henri Atlan,
Events and the future forms towards which the organism seems to head are in fact contained at the outset, in a coded way, in the nucleotide sequences of the DNAs of the genome.
Your activity as an artist, upsetting the ordinary ethology of the insect, seems to me to be the same thing as introducing a noise, complicating itsUmwelt and producing a response. In your diversion of the caddis worm's behavior, in your artistic manipulation, the effect is twofold. From a biological viewpoint, a random event triggers self-organization. From a human viewpoint, the experimenter's intent produces this effect. These two types of final cause-effects (time inversion) are combined in the in vitro experiment.
Is the caddis worm's precious case the work of the insect or the work of the artist? This is not the right question. The contradiction can be resolved by the differing viewpoints. According to the first view, the caddis worm owes nothing to the artist (who is simply the author of one noise among the thousands of other noises in its environment). According to the second view, the caddis worm is merely the executor of the artist's project. The artistic statement plays on the confusion of the two levels by overlaying the two perspectives. The aesthetic result (at once natural and artistic) turns the caddis worm's case---which is more than an assisted ready-made or a "diversion"---into a doubly exposed object, like a double exposure: a scientific-cum-artistic palimpsest.
Thom Mayne's Combinatory Urbanism: The Complex Behavior of Collective Form explores new directions and approaches to urban planning and design.
In our complex society traditional urban planning in form of a master plan is outdated as the growth of our cities can no longer be predicted and planned. Thom Mayne re-introduces strategic paradigms into urban planning that contain more than architecture. In his projects new approaches in urban planning can be found through an articulated architecture that considers more than form. The 10 projects compiled in the publication show how a mix of different thought approaches produce complex solutions for a complex society. Not one language, but a multiplicity of languages that anticipate future possibilities make his solutions concrete, yet open ended and fascinating
Growing beings and growing things, whether material or immaterial, accumulate mass or increase their spreading. Plants grow, black holes grow, a software program grows, economies grow, cities grow, patterns grow, a pile of sand grows, a text grows, the mind grows and even things like self-confidence and love are said to grow. On the other hand, we do not expect that things like cars or buildings “grow.”,...
Here in this piece we just would like to show some possibilities to enlarge the conceptual space and the vocabulary that we could use to describe (the) “growing” (of) things. We will take a special reference to architecture and urbanism, albeit the basics would apply to other fields as well, e.g. to the growth and the differentiation of organizations (as “management”) or social forms, but also of more or even “completely” immaterial entities. In some way, this power is even mandatory, if we are going to address the Urban, for the Urban definitely exceeds the realm of the empirical.
The remainder of this essay comprises the following sections:
Your grade ten math teacher probably wrote this several times on your tests: SIMPLIFY. And, for much of science, that’s part of the work: SIMPLIFY. The universe can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks in an attempt to find its most basic level and functions. But what do you do when that doesn’t work? Complex systems that defy reduction are all around us, from the elaborate workings of an ant colony—which could never be predicted from the physiology of a single ant—to fluctuations in the financial system that can send ripples around the globe. When broken into their constituent pieces, examined and put back together, such systems do not behave as expected. The sum of the parts does not equal the whole
Interview to Raissa D’Souza by Graeme Stemp Morlock
"I firmly believe networks become more interdependent in time," says D’Souza. "We see the global economy becoming more interdependent. We see Facebook making everyone more interconnected. We’re relying increasingly on technologies like the Internet and communications networks, for instance, the smart-grid, a cyber-physical system. All these networks that used to operate more independently are now becoming more interconnected, and to me that is really a signature of time."
This form of self-organisation is remarkable, and figuring out how it happens may hold the key to understanding life on earth formed and perhaps how it might form on other planets. ...
Stano reports in the journal Angewandte Chemie that many of these liposomes trapped some molecules of the assembly. But remarkably, five in every 1,000 such liposomes had all 83 of the molecules needed to produce a protein. These liposomes produced large amount of GFP and glowed green under a microscope.
Computer calculations reveal that even by chance, five liposomes in 1,000 could not have trapped all 83 molecules of the assembly. Their calculated probability for even one such liposome to form is essentially zero. The fact that any such liposomes formed and that GFP was produced means something quite unique is happening.
Singularity is the most basic and hardcore element of creative process in nature referring to a ‘dynamic’ that holds the potential of shaping and organizing the space around its extension. Progressive Differentiation and Individuation which are the sub elements of the Morphogenetic Process- which can be examined through the approaches of topology such as ‘Topological Transformation and Folding’- are the extensions of the conceptual notions of singularity.
"I am particularly interested in the shifting paradigm of architecture, namely that architecture is becoming contingent. And I take the risk of associating the growing interest for expedition with the validation or integration of contingency within the architecture sphere. But a first remark is that expedition, as we will see, is forcing architecture to break the however solid ramparts of its ivory tower. In other words, it participates in the shift of the architect's role into a facilitator."
"This book presents an initial attempt to apply fractal geometry to cities. In fact, we go beyond this and argue that cities are fractal in form, and that much of our pre-existing urban theory is a theory of the fractal city. [...] In terms of theory, we show here that the architect's physical determinism concerning the city can be captured and elaborated in terms of fractals while the geographer's concern for the economic theory of location is entirely consistent with the use of fractal ideas. We live in an era when physical determinism is still disreputable as architects and city planners seek to minimize the impact of designs which manifestly interfere with the social and economic fabric of cities in countless unanticipated and undesirable ways. But physical form does determine the quality of life in cities. We see fractal geometry as providing a new hope for understanding the power of determinism, as well as new methods for enabling the synthesis of urban density with central place theory, new ways of visualizing the impact of human decision-making on cities, and perhaps most of all, new goals for achieving the good society through manipulating and planning city form." Michael Batty & Paul Longley (1994)
New research has prompted a resurgence of interest in the patterning mechanisms Alan Turing proposed 60 years ago
A Turing mechanism alone cannot account for scaling in nature’s patterns. Chicken eggs are a good example of scaling, in that they can be large, small or anything in between, but regardless of the size of a fertilized egg, if it hatches, the product will be a complete chick — not one that is missing crucial parts. “The question Turing fails to answer is: How do you get that scaling process?” Green said.
The answer might lie in a new paper on the formation of digits in the paws of mouse embryos.
Digit patterning is similar to that of stripes. But although fingers fan out in a pattern of stripes, the distance between the fingertips — the wavelength, if you will — and the distance between the knuckles are different. The pattern scales proportionately. If those stripes arise from a Turing mechanism, something else must be influencing the scaling.
It turns out there are two processes at work in digit patterning: the Turing mechanism that produces the stripelike pattern and a second tuning mechanism to control scaling via the Hox genes. Sharpe prefers to view them as different aspects of the same mechanism.
James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Presenting a brilliant study on international financial networks, the flow of control and power, and the implications for international crisis events.
Inspiring Matter was planned as a cross-disciplinary forum, with the aim to promote closer collaboration in the fields of design (including architecture and fashion as well as product design) and materials science (embracing nanotechnology, synthetic biology and other emerging areas of research).
multiple takes on the fascinating correlation between materials, aesthetic and genesis of form
_ frequencies (a) is a sound performance combining the sound of mechanically triggered tuning forks with pure digital soundwaves. The performer is triggering sequences from the computer, activating solenoids that hits the tuning forks with high precision. Streams of light burst in synchronicity with the forks, creating a not-quite-minimal sound and light composition…