Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Bistability of Somatic Pattern Memories: Stochastic Outcomes in Bioelectric Circuits Underlying Regeneration

Version 1 : Received: 26 November 2019 / Approved: 28 November 2019 / Online: 28 November 2019 (03:12:53 CET)

How to cite: Pezzulo, G.; LaPalme, J.; Durant, F.; Levin, M. Bistability of Somatic Pattern Memories: Stochastic Outcomes in Bioelectric Circuits Underlying Regeneration. Preprints 2019, 2019110348 Pezzulo, G.; LaPalme, J.; Durant, F.; Levin, M. Bistability of Somatic Pattern Memories: Stochastic Outcomes in Bioelectric Circuits Underlying Regeneration. Preprints 2019, 2019110348

Abstract

Nervous systems and brains’ computational abilities are an evolutionary innovation, specializing and speed-optimizing ancient biophysical dynamics. Bioelectric signaling originated in cells’ communication with the outside world and with each other, in order to cooperate toward adaptive construction and repair of multicellular bodies. Here we review the emerging field of developmental bioelectricity, which links the field of basal cognition to state-of-the-art questions in regenerative medicine, synthetic bioengineering, cognitive science, and even machine learning and artificial intelligence. One of the predictions of this view is that regeneration and regulative development are able to restore correct large-scale anatomies from diverse starting states because, like the brain, they exploit bioelectric encoding of distributed goal states - in this case, pattern memories. Based on this idea, we propose a new interpretation of recent stochastic regenerative phenotypes in planaria, by appealing to computational models of memory representation and processing in the brain. Moreover, we discuss novel findings showing that bioelectric changes induced in planaria can be stored in tissue for over a week, thus revealing that somatic bioelectric circuits in vivo can implement a long-term, re-writable memory medium. A consideration of the mechanisms, evolution, and functionality of basal cognition makes novel predictions and provides an integrative perspective on the evolution, physiology, and biomedicine of information processing in vivo.

Subject Areas

regeneration; bioelectricity; planaria; bistability; memory; cognitive science

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