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Immune Cognition and Pathogenic Challenge: Sudden and Chronic Infection

By Rodrick Wallace


We continue to study the implications of IR Cohen's theory of immune cognition, in the presence of both sudden and chronic pathogenic challenge, through a mathematical model derived from the Large Deviations Program of applied probability. The analysis makes explicit the linkage between an individual's 'immunocultural condensation' and embedding social or historical structures and processes, in particular power relations between groups. We use methods adapted from the theory of ecosystem resilience to explore the consequences of the sudden 'perturbation' caused by infection in the context of such embedding, and examine a 'stage' model for chronic infection involving multiple phase transitions analogous to 'learning plateaus' in neural networks or 'punctuated equilibria' in adaptive systems

Topics: Theoretical Biology
Year: 2002
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