Chaotic Dynamics in Biological Information Processing: A Heuristic Outline

  • John S. Nicolis
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 138)


A given (but otherwise random) environmental time series impinging on the input of a certain biological processor passes through with over-whelming probability undetected. A very small percentage of environmental stimuli, however, are “captured” by the processor’s non-linear dissipative operator, as initial conditions, that is as solutions of the processor’s dissipative dynamics. The processor in such cases is instrumental in compressing or abstracting those stimuli, thereby making the external world collapse from a previous regime of a “pure state” of suspended animation on to a set of stable eigenfunctions or “categories” — chaotic strange attractors. The charateristics of this cognitive set depend on the operator involved and the hierarchical level where the abstraction takes place. In this paper we model the physics of such a cognitive process and the role that the thalamocortical pacemaker of the (human) brain plays in both stimulating the individual attractors and permutating them on a time division multiplexing basis. A synthesis of the Markovian processes taking place within each individual attractor-memory and the Markovian or Semi-Markovian process involving the intermittent jumping among the different attractors-memories is discussed.


Strange Attractor Oscillatory Activity Basin Boundary Division Point Suspended Animation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Nicolis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of PatrasGreece

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