Robustness and autonomy in biological systems: how regulatory mechanisms enable functional integration, complexity and minimal cognition through the action of second-order control constraints

In M. Bertolaso, S. Caianiello & E. Serrelli (eds.), Biological Robustness. Emerging Perspectives from within the Life Sciences. New York, USA: Springer. pp. 123-147 (2018)
Authors
Leonardo Bich
University of the Basque Country
Abstract
Living systems employ several mechanisms and behaviors to achieve robustness and maintain themselves under changing internal and external conditions. Regulation stands out from them as a specific form of higher-order control, exerted over the basic regime responsible for the production and maintenance of the organism, and provides the system with the capacity to act on its own constitutive dynamics. It consists in the capability to selectively shift between different available regimes of self-production and self-maintenance in response to specific signals and perturbations, due to the action of a dedicated subsystem which is operationally distinct from the regulated ones. The role of regulation, however, is not exhausted by its contribution to maintain a living system’s viability. While enhancing robustness, regulatory mechanisms play a fundamental role in the realization of an autonomous biological organization. Specifically, they are at the basis of the remarkable integration of biological systems, insofar as they coordinate and modulate the activity of distinct functional subsystems. Moreover, by implementing complex and hierarchically organized control architectures, they allow for an increase in structural and organizational complexity while minimizing fragility. Finally, they endow living systems, from their most basic unicellular instances, with the capability to control their own internal dynamics to adaptively respond to specific features of their interaction with the environment, thus providing the basis for the emergence of minimal forms of cognition.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,596
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mechanisms for Robust Cognition.Matthew M. Walsh & Kevin A. Gluck - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (6):1131-1171.
Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
On the Import of Constraints in Complex Dynamical Systems.Cliff Hooker - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (4):757-780.
Causal Order and Kinds of Robustness.Arnon Levy - 2017 - In Snait Gissis, Ehud Lamm & Ayelet Shavit (eds.), Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. pp. 269-280.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-01-12

Total downloads
6 ( #693,073 of 2,303,823 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #98,325 of 2,303,823 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature