Theoretical Aspects of Cellular Decision-Making and Information-Processing

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 736)


Microscopic biological processes have extraordinary complexity and variety at the sub-cellular, intra-cellular, and multi-cellular levels. In dealing with such complex phenomena, conceptual and theoretical frameworks are crucial, which enable us to understand seemingly different intra- and inter-cellular phenomena from unified viewpoints. Decision-making is one such concept that has attracted much attention recently. Since a number of cellular behavior can be regarded as processes to make specific actions in response to external stimuli, decision-making can cover and has been used to explain a broad range of different cellular phenomena [Balázsi et al. (Cell 144(6):910, 2011), Zeng et al. (Cell 141(4):682, 2010)]. Decision-making is also closely related to cellular information-processing because appropriate decisions cannot be made without exploiting the information that the external stimuli contain. Efficiency of information transduction and processing by intra-cellular networks determines the amount of information obtained, which in turn limits the efficiency of subsequent decision-making. Furthermore, information-processing itself can serve as another concept that is crucial for understanding of other biological processes than decision-making. In this work, we review recent theoretical developments on cellular decision-making and information-processing by focusing on the relation between these two concepts.


Mutual Information Bayesian Inference Information Transmission Hedging Strategy Fitness Advantage 



We thank Bashar Md. Khayrul, Yoshihiro Morishita, and Ryo Yokota for fruitful discussions. This work was supported by the JST PRESTO program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Industrial ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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