Complexity science seeks to improve on traditional reductionist approaches. Central to the area is the search for general laws or principles that can be applied to disparate phenomena across a wide variety of levels of complexity from physics, chemistry, and biology to neuroscience, psychology, and the social sciences.
A key concept is emergence. Global properties of complex adaptive systems emerge from the interactions of the basic units of the system. How these systems interact with their environments is another key point. Such self-organising systems evolve far from equilibrium, at the ‘edge of chaos’, in neither deterministic order nor randomness.
My research into complexity theory looks at the plausibility of there being a general theory of complex systems and the features that it requires. But as a cognitive scientist I’m also interested in how this approach could aid the study of the mind. Perhaps with a unified account of the tangled web of systems underlying all mental phenomena.
What Is The Code?
The Code is a three-part TV series about maths in the natural world, presented by Marcus du Sautoy. Why do bees make hexagonal honeycomb? Where’s the best place to stand to get on a train first? How can dozens of wrong answers make a correct one? Join Marcus on an exciting journey to discover how maths shapes the world around us. That’s not all, because The Code is also a treasure hunt! If you watch ... Read more
Complex systems present problems in mathematical modelling. The equations from which complex system models are developed generally derive from statistical physics, information theory and non-linear dynamics, and represent organized but unpredictable behaviors of systems of nature that are considered fundamentally complex. The physical manifestations of such systems cannot be defined, so the usual choice is ... Read more