1/f scaling as a signature of emergent coordination

 

1/f scaling as a signature of emergent coordination

October 4, 2006 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Abstract: Nature is rife with vivid illustrations of emergent coordination. Bees coordinate to build hives, fish and birds coordinate to school and flock, neurons coordinate to produce spatiotemporal patterns of activity, and muscles coordinate to produce movements. These collective phenomena are emergent because control is not centralized, and they are coordinated because the patterns of behavior or activity strike a balance between order and disorder. Systems at this balance point have been studied rigorously in the field of statistical mechanics, and it is well established that power law behaviors are generic to them. One such power law is 1/f scaling, and 1/f scaling has been observed throughout the physical, biological, social, and behavioral sciences (a.k.a. 1/f noise). Supported by a series of experiments, I will propose that 1/f scaling is a generic signature of emergent coordination in human behavior that is observed most clearly under conditions of intrinsic fluctuation. Connections with neural systems and other biological systems will be discussed.

Paper: http://www.cogsci.rpi.edu/CSJarchive/Proceedings/2006/docs/p979.pdf
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