"Scale-Free Communication?" An investigation of the communication metaphor in life sciences

The goal of this interdisciplinary project is to address the widespread use of communication metaphors across cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and biology, applying tools of philosophical analysis, information theory and computational modeling. Specifically, the project aims to answer some of the outstanding questions about the parallels between high-level, linguistic and symbolic communication that humans engage in, and much lower level signaling-based communication that happens between cells and cell ensembles within a single organism. These questions can be summarized by the hypothesis of “Scale-Free Communication”, i.e. the idea that all relevant features of communication process (its structure, its semantics, the methodological approach to investigate it) appear across several levels of life, starting from cell-to-cell interactions.