Complementarity and non-locality in complex systems

  • Walter v. Lucadou
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 565)


Many of the early founders of quantum theory expected to find “quantum-like” features also within the domain of living systems. But these ideas have not found much support in biology or psychology until now. However, modern system theory dealing with complex self-referential systems might cast a new light upon this question. Since quantum mechanical observables cannot be applied directly to complex systems, a categorical analysis of those systems is necessary. After discussing some general features of quantum theory a phenomenological non-classical model to describe highly complex systems in developed.

It is argued that structure and function can be seen as complementary categories of complex systems which lead to the formulation of uncertainty relations. Furthermore non-locality is regarded as a crucial criterion for the underlying non-classical structure of complex systems.

The outcome of a psychological experiment is reported which is suggestive of non-local correlations within man-machine interaction. The results of this experiment support the model that a self-referential complex system may be able to select certain noise fluctuations from a causally separated system via non-local correlations if a feedback-loop generates an “organizational closure” of the “observer” and the “observed”.

The results further suggest that these constraints can be adequately described by the concept of “pragmatic information” which was proposed by von Weizsäcker to “measure” the “meaning” of a given information.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter v. Lucadou
    • 1
  1. 1.Freiburg

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