Creativity as Cognitive design The case of mesoscopic variables in Meta-Structures

Licata, Prof. Ignazio and Minati, Prof. Gianfranco (2009) Creativity as Cognitive design The case of mesoscopic variables in Meta-Structures. [Book Chapter] (In Press)

Full text available as:

PDF - Submitted Version


Creativity is an open problem which has been differently approached by several disciplines since a long time. In this contribution we consider as creative the constructivist design an observer does on the description levels of complex phenomena, such as the self-organized and emergent ones ( e.g., Bènard rollers, Belousov-Zhabotinsky reactions, flocks, swarms, and more radical cognitive and social emergences). We consider this design as related to the Gestaltian creation of a language fit for representing natural processes and the observer in an integrated way. Organised systems, both artificial and most of the natural ones are designed/ modelled according to a logical closed model which masters all the inter-relation between their constitutive elements, and which can be described by an algorithm or a single formal model. We will show there that logical openness and DYSAM (Dynamical Usage of Models) are the proper tools for those phenomena which cannot be described by algorithms or by a single formal model. The strong correlation between emergence and creativity suggests that an open model is the best way to provide a formal definition of creativity. A specific application relates to the possibility to shape the emergence of Collective Behaviours. Different modelling approaches have been introduced, based on symbolic as well as sub-symbolic rules of interaction to simulate collective phenomena by means of computational emergence. Another approach is based on modelling collective phenomena as sequences of Multiple Systems established by percentages of conceptually interchangeable agents taking on the same roles at different times and different roles at the same time. In the Meta-Structures project we propose to use mesoscopic variables as creative design, invention, good continuity and imitation of the description level. In the project we propose to define the coherence of sequences of Multiple Systems by using the values taken on by the dynamic mesoscopic clusters of its constitutive elements, such as the instantaneous number of elements having, in a flock, the same speed, distance from their nearest neighbours, direction and altitude. In Meta-Structures the collective behaviour’s coherence corresponds, for instance, to the scalar values taken by speed, distance, direction and altitude along time, through statistical strategies of interpolation, quasi-periodicity, levels of ergodicity and their reciprocal relationship. In this case the constructivist role of the observer is considered creative as it relates to neither non-linear replication nor transposition of levels of description and models used for artificial systems, like reductionism. Creativity rather lies in inventing new mesoscopic variables able to identify coherent patterns in complex systems. As it is known, mesoscopic variables represent partial macroscopic properties of a system by using some of the microscopic degrees of freedom possessed by composing elements. Such partial usage of microscopic as well as macroscopic properties allows a kind of Gestaltian continuity and imitation between levels of descriptions for mesoscopic modelling.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Keywords:constructivist design, complex systems, dynamical usage of models, emergence, logical openness, mesoscopic variables, meta-structure
Subjects:Psychology > Applied Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy > Epistemology
Computer Science > Complexity Theory
Computer Science > Dynamical Systems
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Perceptual Cognitive Psychology
Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
ID Code:6637
Deposited By:Licata, Prof. Ignazio
Deposited On:15 Oct 2009 23:58
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Arnheim R., 1997, Art and Visual Perception. University of California Press.

Bayes, T., 1763, An Essay Toward Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 53:370-418; reprinted in Biometrika 45:293-315 (1958), and in Two Papers by Bayes (W. E. Deming, ed., 1963) Hafner, New York.

Bongard M., 1970, Pattern Recognition. Spartan Books, New York.

Boschetti, F., Prokopenko, M., Macreadie, I. and Grisogono, A-M, 2005, Defining and detecting emergence in complex networks, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Vol. 3684 (573-580).

Brett K.D., Wertheimer M., Keller H. and Crochetiere K., 1994, The legacy of Max Wertheimer and gestalt psychology (Sixtieth Anniversary Issue, 1934-1994: The Legacy of Our Past). (A. Mack, ed), Social Research, Volume 61, No. 4.

Frieden, R. (2004), Science from Fisher Information: A Unification. Cambridge University Press, UK.

Gel’shtein G., Gelfand I., Guberman S. and Rotwine I., 1971, The Assessment of Pressure in the Pulmonary Artery Electrocardiography 5:147-155 (in Russian).

Gerovitch, S., Newspeak to Cyberspeak: a History of Soviet Cybernetics, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2002

Guberman S. and Minati G. (2007), Dialogue about systems”, Polimetrica, Milan, Italy, Open Access Publication

Guberman S., 2005, Evolution of good continuation principle, In: Proceedings of the 6th Systems Science European Congress, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers (ENSAM), Paris, Sept. 19-22.

Hinton, G. E., and Van Camp, D., 1993, Keeping neural networks simple by minimizing the description length of the weights. In: Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Conference on Computational Learning Theory (L. Pitt, ed.), ACM Press, New York, pp.5-13.

Holmes, R. (1996). The Creativity Machine, New Scientist, 20 January 1996.

Laughlin, R. B., Pines, D., Schmalian, J. , Stojkovic, B. P. , Wolynes, P. (2000), The Middle Way, PNAS, 97, 1, pp.32-37

Laughlin, R.B. Pines, D. (1999), The Theory of Everything, in PNAS, 97, 1, pp.28-31

Licata, I. (2008a), Emergence and Computation at the Edge of Classical and Quantum Systems, in Physics of Emergence and Organization ( Licata, I & Sakaji,A , eds), World Scientific, 2008 ,

Licata, I. (2008b), Physics and Logical Openness in Cognitive Models, in Epistemologia, 2, 2008

Licata, I. (2009), Living with Radical Uncertainty : The Exemplary Case of Folding Protein, in Crossing in Complexity ( Licata, I & Sakaji, A, eds), Nova Publisher, 2009.

Licata, I., (2008c), Vision as Adaptive Epistemology, in Research on Research, ( Maldonato, M. e Pietrobon, R,, Eds), Sussex Edition, 2009,

Maynard-Smith, J., 1982, Evolution and the Theory of Games. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Minati, G. (2009b), Systemics and emergence for Architecture, doctoral lectures at the Polytechnic of Milan/Department 'Building Environment Sciences and Technology',

Minati, G. and Brahms, S., 2002, The Dynamic Usage of Models (DYSAM). In G. Minati and E. Pessa (Eds.), Emergence in Complex Cognitive, Social and Biological Systems (pp. 41-52), Kluwer, New York.

Minati, G. and Collen, A., (2009), Architecture as the interdisciplinary design of boundary conditions for emergent properties in human social systems, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, (16):103-125.

Minati, G. and Pessa, E., (2006), Collective Beings. Springer, New York.

Minati, G., (2002), Emerge and Ergodicity: a line of research, In: Emergence in Complex Cognitive, Social and Biological Systems, (G. Minati, E. Pessa, eds.), Kluwer, New York, pp. 85-102.

Minati, G., (2008a), New Approaches for Modelling Emergence of Collective Phenomena - The Meta-structures project, Polimetrica, Milan. Open Access Publication

Minati, G., (2008b), Systemic Properties: acquisition and persistence over time, In: Proceedings of the 7th Congress of the UES, Lisbon, Portugal, 2008. Paper and talk available at

Minati, G., (2008c), Processes of structured and non-structured interactions, phase transitions, self-organisation and emergence, In: Proceedings of the 7th Congress of the UES, Lisbon, Portugal, 2008. Paper and talk available at

Minati, G., (2009), The meta-structures project,

Minati, G., and Vitiello, G., (2006), Mistake Making Machines, In: Systemics of Emergence: Applications and Development (G. Minati, E. Pessa and M. Abram, eds.), Springer, New York, pp. 67-78.

Minati, G., Penna, M. P., and Pessa, E., 1998, Thermodynamic and Logical Openness in General Systems, Systems Research and Behavioral Science 15:131-145.

Peirce, C. S., 1998, Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism. In: The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings, 1893-1913, (N. Houser, J. R. Eller, A. C. Lewis, A. De Tienne, C. L. Clark and D. B. Davis, eds.), Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, Chapters 10-16, pp. 133-241.

Thaler, S. L. (1994, 2005). US Patents 5659666, 6115701, 6356884, 7454388, Device for the Autonomous Generation of Useful Information.

Thaler, S. L., 1996a, Neural Nets That Create And Discover, PC AI, May / June, p.p. 16-21.

Thaler, S. L., 1996b, Is Neuronal Chaos the Source of Stream of Consciousness? World Congress on Neural Networks, (WCNN’96), Lawrence Erlbaum, Mawahm NJ.

Vitiello G. (2001), My Double Unveiled: The Dissipative Quantum Model of Brain, John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam

Weibull, J. W., 1995, Evolutionary Game Theory. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Wertheimer M., 1959, Productive thinking. Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York.


Repository Staff Only: item control page