This glossary contains a vocabulary used by CPER concerning the overall site, regarding: meaning of scientific words, useful definitions, short explanations of some concepts, and references to reliable external sources of information on the Internet or on paper.
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Practopoiesis is an overarching biological theory from Danko
Nikolic. The term reflects the fundamental presumption on what
the common property is, that can be found across all the
different levels of organization of biological systems: to
Due to this focus on biological action, practopoiesis has a strong cybernetic flavour as it has to deal with the need of acting systems to close feedback loops.
Thus, the theory of practopoiesis builds on the concepts of
cybernetics. Cybernetic laws assumes monitor-and-act
machinery (either physical or biological):
The key novelty of practopoiesis is that it introduces the mechanisms explaining how different levels of organization mutually interact. These mechanisms help explain how genes create anatomy of the nervous system, or how anatomy creates behaviour.
Practopoiesis is a theory on how life organizes into a mind. It proposes the principles by which adaptive systems organize. It is a general theory of what it takes to be biologically intelligent. Being general, the theory is applicable to the brain as much as it is applicable to artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. What makes the theory so general is that it is grounded in the principles of cybernetics (e.g. feedback loops), rather than describing the physiological implementations of those mechanisms (e.g. inhibition/excitation, plasticity, etc.).
In practopoiesis there is no longer a cycle: action → representation → action … . Instead, practopoietic theory works with actions only, which interact and form a hierarchy: One action is in a service of another action. This hierarchy starts with actions of gene expression mechanisms and ends with our overt behavior. Perception and cognition are then understood as emergent properties of those cybernetics-like actions.
The practopoietic theory of Prof. Dr. Danko Nikolic consists of two parts:
The term Practopoiesis is derived from Ancient Greek words praxis (πρᾶξις)) meaning "deed", "act" or "action" + poiesis (ποίησις, ποιέω) which means "to make". Practopoiesis means: creation of actions.
PseudoCode is a 'language syntax shorthand notation' that uses expressions in between human language and computer programming language. A programmer tries to write down cause-effect actions, using normal human words, so that a laymen (with no programming experience) can read and understand the serie of commands (= algorithms) that execute a specific computer process.
Bio-Mental Cybernetics describes the underlying mechanism of certain cause-effect phenomena that emerged during evolution to give rise to brain processes with regard to emotions (feelings) and cognitions (thought).
Mental-pseudocode (also called: neuro-pseudocode) denotes, on the concrete level, the actual thought process as a result of functional neuronal process.
Evo-pseudocode (also called: meta-pseudocode) describes, on a meta level, the way evolution gave birth to processes by which animals obtained the ability to generate brain processes resembling human thought.
Taxonomy is the science of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups. Organisms are grouped together into taxa (singular: taxon) and given a taxonomic rank. Groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super group of higher rank and thus create a taxonomic hierarchy. The Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus is regarded as the father of taxonomy, as he developed a system known as Linnaean classification for categorization of organisms and binomial nomenclature for naming organisms. With the advent of such fields of study as phylogenetics, cladistics, and systematics, the Linnaean system has progressed to a system of modern biological classification based on the evolutionary relationships between organisms, both living and extinct
The term taxonomy is derived from the Ancient Greek word taxis (τάξις) meaning "arrangement" and -nomia (νομία) meaning "method".
In biology, a taxon (plural taxa; back-formation from taxonomy) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. A taxon is usually known by a particular name and given a particular ranking.
In biological classification, rank is the level (the relative
position) in a taxonomic hierarchy. Examples of taxonomic ranks
are species, genus, family, and class.
Cladistics is an approach to biological classification in which organisms are grouped together. This grouping is based on whether or not organisms have one or more shared unique characteristics that come from the group's last common ancestor and are not present in more distant ancestors. Therefore, members of the same group are thought to share a common history and are considered to be more closely related. When these lineage-branching (with regard to common ancestor) are drawn in a diagram, this is called a cladogram.
The term cladistic is derived from the Ancient Greek word klados (κλάδος) meaning "branch".
Phylogenetic nomenclature, often called cladistic nomenclature, is a method of nomenclature for taxa in biology that uses phylogenetic definitions for taxon names. This contrasts with the traditional approach, in which taxon names are defined by a type, which can be a specimen or a taxon of lower rank, and a diagnosis, a statement intended to supply characters that differentiate the taxon from others with which it is likely to be confused. Phylogenetic nomenclature is currently not regulated, but the International Code of Phylogenetic Nomenclature (PhyloCode) is intended to regulate it once it is ratified.
CPER: a vector is an abstract reference pointer, that indicates the direction of an evolutionary trend. Within the framework of the theory of CPER, a vector resembles the definition of a mathematical pointer or physical impulse, rather than of a biological carrier.
The word Vector is derived from the Latin term vehere, which means "to carry".