Matthew D. Egbert

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We use a minimal model of metabolism-based chemotaxis to show how a coupling between metabolism and behavior can affect evolutionary dynamics in a process we refer to as behavioral metabolution. This mutual influence can function as an in-the-moment, intrinsic evaluation of the adaptive value of a novel situation, such as an encounter with a compound that(More)
We argue that the significance of the spatial boundary in au-topoiesis has been overstated. It has the important task of distinguishing a living system as a unity in space but should not be seen as playing the additional role of delimiting the processes that make up the autopoietic system. We demonstrate the relevance of this to a current debate about the(More)
Since the pioneering work by Julius Adler in the 1960's, bacterial chemotaxis has been predominantly studied as metabolism-independent. All available simulation models of bacterial chemotaxis endorse this assumption. Recent studies have shown, however, that many metabolism-dependent chemotactic patterns occur in bacteria. We hereby present the simplest(More)
The viability of a living system is a non-trivial concept, yet it is often highly simplified in models of adaptive behavior. What is lost in this abstraction? How do viability conditions appear in the first place? In order to address these questions we present a new model of an au-topoietic or protocellular system simulated at the molecular level. We(More)
It has been argued that the difference between an autonomous entity and an agent is in the ability of the latter to perform behaviors supplemental to processes of self-maintenance, e.g. autopoiesis. Theories have been proposed concerning how such behaviors might relate to au-topoiesis, but so far, computational models of autopoiesis have paid little(More)
Living agency is subject to a normative dimension (good-bad, adaptive-maladaptive) that is absent from other types of interaction. We review current and historical attempts to naturalize normativity from an organism-centered perspective, identifying two central problems and their solution: (1) How to define the topology of the viability space so as to(More)
Both metabolism and behavior play a key role in biological theory and artificial life modelling. Yet, despite their central-ity there has been very little exploration of the relationship between these concepts and almost no exploration of how the interaction between the two could impact on evolution or instantiate alternative mechanisms for evolutionary(More)
An essential feature of autonomous adaptive agency is that a system behaves according to an intrinsic norm. In this paper, we illustrate and clarify this notion of " behavior according to an intrinsic norm " with a minimalistic model of agency. We present a minimal metabolic system whose auto-catalytic dynamics define a viability region for different(More)
In the recent history of psychology and cognitive neuroscience, the notion of habit has been reduced to a stimulus-triggered response probability correlation. In this paper we use a computational model to present an alternative theoretical view (with some philosophical implications), where habits are seen as self-maintaining patterns of behavior that share(More)
Genetic mutations, infection by parasites or symbionts, and other events can transform the way that an organism's internal state changes in response to a given environment. We use a minimalistic computational model to support an argument that by behaving "interoceptively," i.e. responding to internal state rather than to the environment, organisms can be(More)