Prof. Frank Pasemann

Frank Pasemann, Dr. rer. nat. habil., was a professor for theoretical physics at TU Clausthal since 1985. From 1992-2014 he was heading research groups at the FZ Jülich, the MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig, at the Fraunhofer Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Sankt Augustin, and at the Universität Osnabrück. He held a honorary professorship at the Universität Osnabrück (2004-2008) and was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (2009/10). Among his research areas are nonlinear dynamical systems, cognitive neurodynamics, and evolutionary robotics. His most recent publications include: “Behavior Control in the Sensorimotor Loop with Short-Term Synaptic Dynamics Induced by Self-Regulating Neurons.” (with H. Toutounji) In: Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 8 (19), 2014; “Neural Control of a Modular Multi-Legged Walking Machine: Simulation and Hardware.” (with A. von Twickel, M. Hild, T. Siedel, V. Patel) In: Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 60 (2), 2012, p. 227–241.



Simulated Aspects of the Living

There have been many attempts to characterize life: as an expression of a vital principle, as a machine, as a complex chemical network, as a result of natural selection etc. In the 20th century, various disciplines tried to excavate those aspects, which allow to discern between living and unanimated systems and to understand basic principles that underlie biological functions. Contributions came – among others – from physics (Schrödinger, 1946), cybernetics (Ashby, 1952), biology (Maturana, Varela, 1980) and mathematics (Rosen, 1991).

Based on these attempts the project will explore and compare contributions obtained by using simulations in research fields like synthetic biology, artificial life, embodied cognition and evolutionary robotics. It will outline the obvious shift in understanding the most fundamental processes that living systems utilize to perform their functions in dynamic and diverse environments. The connection with the developing field of complex systems theory will be highlighted by referring to concepts such as autonomy, adaption, order and self-organization, teleology and homeostasis, and the role of stability and destabilization.