Natural computation

The classic notion of computation is based upon Turing computability. In neuroscience, however, the notion computation usually remains undefined and is rather used as a metaphor to describe an "information processing" aspect of natural systems. Natural computation, that is computation in or by natural systems, is inter alia required to be a real-time, continuous and decentralised process, to be embodied in biochemical or physical processes and to show flexibility, adaptibility and robustness to external environments. We hence investigate various models of natural computation more adapted to the biological sciences than the classic Turing model. The main research focus is on cellular automata and the notion of computation put forward by Stoop et al., that is embedded in the general framework of dynamic system theory. Related to the problem of what natural computation shall be is the quest for a general quantifying notion of information. We are investigating various measures of information and complexity regarding their applicability in neuroscience with a focus on Shannon information theory and the complexity measure developed by Stoop et al.


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