Towards information processing from nonlinear physical chemistry: A synthetic electrochemical cognitive system
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It is evident that complex animate materials, which operate far from equilibrium, exhibit sensory responses to the environment through emergent patterns. Formation of such patterns is often the underlying mechanism of an active response to environmental changes and can be interpreted as a result of the distributed parallel information processing taking place within the material. Such emergent patterns are not limited to biological entities; indeed there is a wide range of complex nonlinear dissipative systems which exhibit interesting emergent patterns within a range of parameters. As one example, the present paper describes the detection of emergent phenomena associated with surface electrochemical processes that allow the system to respond to input information through evolving patterns in space and time. Associative mapping of this sort offers the opportunity to devise an electrochemical cognitive system (ECS), where pattern formation can be looked at as a macroscopic phenomenon resulting from the extensive distributive computing that occurs at the microscopic level.
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