Jan. 7, 2016, 2 p.m. UTC // Jan. 7, 2016, 9 a.m. in America/New_York
Viability, ontogeny, and adaptivity have been widely discussed within enactive cognition. The work presented in this talk provides an initial step towards a more formal treatment of these concepts. I will introduce a minimal model of chemical concentration dynamics that supports the emergence of protocells, which stabilize themselves via metabolism-boundary co-construction. A network of possible ontogenies is uncovered by subjecting a protocell to sequential perturbations, and mapping the resulting structural configurations. The analysis of this network reveals trends in how the protocell can move between configurations, how its morphology changes, and how the role of the environment varies throughout. Viability is defined as expected lifespan given an initial configuration. This leads to two notions of adaptivity: a local adaptivity that addresses how viability changes in plastic transitions, and a global adaptivity that looks at longer-term tendencies for increased viability.