QLS Guest Seminar - Mon. 17 September 11h00

Quantitative Life Sciences qls at ictp.it
Wed Sep 12 12:19:30 CEST 2018


Monday, 17 September 2018 11h00
ICTP, Central Area, 2nd floor, old SISSA building, Via Beirut 2 
Web: http://indico.ictp.it/event/8670/

Speaker:  Mark L. Latash,  The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Title: Towards physics of biological action and perception


Living systems differ from inanimate objects in their ability to unite 
basic laws of nature into chains and clusters leading to new stable and 
pervasive relations among physical variables and involving new 
parameters. They produce actions by modifying these parameters. Some of 
such “biological laws of nature” have been described including those 
underlying the control of voluntary movements. This approach allows 
exploring stability of action and perception, which looks next to 
miraculous given the continuously changing intrinsic states of the body 
and the changing environment. Stability of action and perception is 
viewed as the formation of a stable low-dimensional manifold, 
uncontrolled manifold for action and iso-perceptual manifold for 
perception, in high-dimensional spaces of elements. Over the past years, 
we have developed a method of uncontrolled manifold-based analysis of 
action stability in spaces of elemental performance variables and 
control variables for the effectors. These studies have shown, in 
particular, that humans are able to modify stability of steady states in 
preparation to action and that control of action stability is grossly 
impaired in certain neurological disorders. I will also review a couple 
of recent experimental studies testing some of the predictions of the 
scheme for stable perception. One of them explored force illusions 
induced by muscle vibration. The other study explored perception of 
elemental variables during a multi-element action.

Everyone interested is most welcome to attend!

Erica Sarnataro
Group Secretary
Quantitative Life Sciences
The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)
Trieste,  Italy
Tel. +39-040-2240623
e-mail: qls at ictp.it

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