The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Seminar #61: Towards Behavioural Metabolution

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on February 23, 2010

Tomorrow there will be an Alergic/L&M talk, 4:30pm (ARUN-401)

A Minimal Model of Metabolism Based Chemotaxis: Towards Behavioural Metabolution

Matthew Egbert & Xabier Barandiaran
CCNR, Sussex University

What is the relationship between metabolism and behaviour? Can one be studied independently from the other? What is lost if we assume their “independence”?

Chemotaxis in E. coli is the most simple, best studied and probably most influential case study of minimal adaptive behaviour. Since the pioneering work of Julius Adler in the 60’s to 80’s, bacterial chemotaxis has been studied as being metabolism independent. All available simulation models of bacterial chemotaxis endorse this assumption. Recent studies have shown, however, that many metabolism dependent phenomena occur in bacteria. We present the simplest artificial protocell model capable of performing metabolism-based chemotaxis. The model serves as a proof of concept to show how such a minimal metabolism can, without additional specialised pathways (or even sensors!), generate chemotactic behaviour. The model reproduces a set of phenomena that has recently attracted attention on bacterial chemotaxis. We discuss how relaxing the metabolism-independent assumption may make shed light on unexplored and poorly understood chemotactic patterns. Furthermore, it provides theoretical advances on the naturalisation of agency and foundations of adaptive behaviour. We shall conclude by proposing how such metabolism based behaviour is capable of a new form of ontogenetic (Lamarckian) evolution, integrating behaviour, metabolism and selection: Behavioural Metabolution!!!

All welcome!

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