Evelyn Tang, Ph.D., Group Leader, Department of Living Matter Physics
Max Planck Institute of Dynamics and Self-Organization
Title: Surfacing robust function in living matter through topology and geometry
Abstract: I study how robust functions such as global cycles and learning emerge in complex biological systems and will describe some recent progress in my ongoing projects. Living systems can exhibit time-scales much longer than those of the underlying components, as well as collective dynamical behavior. How such global behavior is subserved by stochastic constituents remains unclear. We present biologically plausible motifs from which two-dimensional stochastic networks can be constructed, that support macroscopic edge currents in configuration space. Our framework enables a wealth of dynamical phenomena such as a global clock, dynamical growth, and de-growth, as well as synchronization, similar to observations that are quite prevalent in biology. If time permits, I will also discuss how effective learning is accompanied by high dimensional representations of neural activity.