At the the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI), giving a Brown Bag talk on organizational requirements and developmental regulatory mechanisms for autonomous multicellular systems.


WORKSHOP on “Autonomy and Individual Organisms in Biology: A Collaborative Perspective”

The main aim of this workshop is to discuss the notion of ‘autonomy’ as a possible candidate for defining and explaining individual organisms in biology (from microbial colonies up to metazoan multicellular collections)…Read more here.

Functional Differentiation in Prebiotic Evolution

In this paper with Alvaro Moreno we argue that minimal forms of Functional Differentiation (FD) should be inquired on the evolution of self-maintaining (SM) processes in protocells as they undergo a simpler selection process for stability and persistence in a prebiotic environment. We then suggest the concept of closure of constraints (CoC) as a way to identify and describe minimal FD in a far-from-equilibrium SM organization. We show in detail how the concept of (CoC) together with the conditions for its fulfillment can be applied in the case of a simple protocellular system that begins to couple internal chemical reactions with the formation of its membrane components. Finally, we discuss how such SM systems can evolve towards significantly higher levels of FD.

Arnellos, A. and Moreno, A. (2012). How Functional Differentiation Originated in Prebiotic Evolution, Ludus Vitalis XX, num 37, 1-23.

Reducing Uncertainty in the Design Process: the Role of Aesthetics

This is yet another paper with Ioannis Xenakis on the role of aesthetics in the design process. The paper will be presented in the 8th International Conference on Design & Emotion that will be held on 11th-14th September 2012 Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. This conference is open to any theoretical, empirical or methodological work on Design & Emotion

Modelling the Aesthetic Judgement: an Interactive-semiotic Perspective

This is another collaborative work with Ioannis Xenakis on the modeling of aesthetic judgment. In this paper we suggest a four-level interactive model, we underline and indicate the functions that provide the operations of aesthetic experience and, by extension, of aesthetic judgement. Overall we attempt to provide a further theoretical understanding to the perception of aesthetics.

Xenakis, I., Arnellos, A., Spyrou, T., and Darzentas, J. (2012). Modelling the Aesthetic Judgement: an Interactive-semiotic Perspective, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 19(3): 25-51.

Modeling Information and Normativity in Autonomous Biological Agents

This paper is the result of an on-going collaboration between Luis Bruni, Charbel El-Hani, John Collier and me, starting with our presentation in Biosemiotics 2009. We assume a dynamical context for information, and then start with the simplest case that has the properties of information , and ask what we need to add in to get functionality (which is by nature normative). To get meaning we need full-fledged semiosis, which requires thirds. “It from bit”, thermodynamic views, hierarchies (and especially physical information systems, which we define as combinatorial but without mention of meaning or function) involve only seconds, and are thus not semiotic, bio or otherwise. However they can be. So we go on to explain what else is needed. Then we give some examples by applying the underlying biosemiotic logic to a particular biological system, giving a model of the B-Cell Receptor signaling system, in order to demonstrate how biosemiotic concepts can be used to build an account of biological information and functionality. Next we show how this framework can be used to explain and model more complex aspects of biological normativity, for example, how cross-talk between different signaling pathways can be avoided.

Arnellos, A., Bruni E., L., El-Hani C. & Collier, J. (2012). Anticipatory Functions, Digital-Analog forms and Biosemiotics: Integrating the tools to model Information and Normativity in Autonomous Biological Agents, Biosemiotics, 5(3): 331-367, DOI: 10.1007/s12304-012-9146-4