Letelier J. C., Marín G. & Mpodozis J. (2002) Computing with autopoietic systems. In: Roy R., Köppen M., Ovaska S., Furuhashi T. & Hoffmann F. (eds.) Soft computing and industry: Recent applications.. Springer, London: 67–80. https://cepa.info/2475

In 1973, in the middle of rather unfortunate political events, two Chilean biologists, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, introduced the concept of Autopoietic systems (“auto”= self and ”poiesis” = generating or producing) as a theoretical construct on the nature of living systems centering on two main notions: the circular organization of metabolism and a redefinition of the systemic concepts of structure and organization. This theoretical contruct has found an important place in theoretical biology, but it can also be used as a foundation for a new type of authentically “soft” computing. To understand the main point of our exposition, how Autopoietic systems can be used to compute, it is first necessary to give a brief summary of Autopoietic theory along with the notion of structural coupling.

Letelier J. C., Marin G. & Mpodozis J. (2003) Autopoietic and (M, R) systems. Journal of Theoretical Biology 222(2): 261–272. https://cepa.info/3627

From the many attempts to produce a conceptual framework for the organization of living systems, the notions of (M, R) systems and Autopoiesis stand out for their rigor, their presupposition of the circularity of metabolism, and the new epistemologies that they imply. From their inceptions, these two notions have been essentially disconnected because each has defined its own language and tools. Here we demonstrate the existence of a deep conceptual link between (M, R) systems and Autopoietic systems. This relationship permits us to posit that Autopoietic systems, which have been advanced as capturing the central aspects of living systems, are a subset of (M, R) systems. This result, in conjunction with previous theorems proved by Rosen, can be used to outline a demonstration that the operation of Autopoietic systems cannot be simulated by Turing machines. This powerful result shows the potential of linking these two models. Finally, we suggest that the formalism of (M, R) systems could be used to model the circularity of metabolism.

Letelier J. C., Marin G., Fredes F., Sentis E., Vargas S., Maturana H. R. & Mpodozis J. (2005) Travelling waves of visually induced very fast oscillations in the optic tectum of the pigeon. Journal of Physiology 565P: C115.

Letelier J. C., Marin G., Mpodozis J. & Andrade J. S. (2002) Anticipatory computing with autopoietic and (M, R) systems. In: Soft Computing Systems: Desing, Management and Applications. IOS Press, Amsterdam: 205–211.

Marin G., Mpodozis J., Letelier J. C., Sentis E. & Maturana H. R. (2005) Sub-millisecond synchronization of spike activity in the ithsmi nuclei of pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Physiology 565P: C53.

Mpodozis J., Fredes F., Sentis E., Tapia S., Marin G., Letelier J. C. & Maturana H. R. (2005) A detailed study of the rotundo-entopallial projections in the pigeon (Columba Livia). Journal of Physiology 565P: C116.

Varela F. J., Letelier J. C., Marín G. & Maturana H. R. (1983) The neurophysiology of avian color vision. Archivos de Biología y Medicina Experimentales 16: 291–303.