Multi-level semiosis


Integrative approaches to biology, cognition and culture



Luis Emilio Bruni, Aalborg University, Denmark (Governing Board, International Society for Biosemiotic Studies)


In the last two decades there has been an increasing interest in communication processes, information and sign-systems at all levels of complexity, from the molecular-genetic level to the epigenetic (whole-cell) level, up to more systemic levels which include various types of communication systems such as nervous, immunologic, endocrine, ethological and ecological systems, including human cognition and culture.

Many disciplines have declared and pursued an “integrative agenda” giving rise to sub-disciplines such as “integrative biology” and “integrative neuroscience”. Common to all the integrative efforts has been the increasing importance given to the context and to the “interfaces” across different levels of organization, searching for a healthy balance between reductionism and holism. Biosemiotics as a discipline has been very active in this direction. The integrative agenda thus depends on the consideration of the embeddedness of informational and semiotic systems and processes across levels.

Subjects and scope

This paper session welcomes theoretical works and empirical findings that highlight the biosemiotic perspective or implications in the modeling of multi-level and multi-scalar complex systems, complex networks, systems’ architectures, hierarchical and heterarchical systems, emergence and embeddedness in biological, cognitive and cultural processes. It also welcomes contributions that from a biosemiotic perspective analyze the semiotic implications of emerging disciplines that by definition are linking different levels, such as psychoneuroimmunology, social signal transduction, systems biology, systems neuroscience, integrative neuroscience, and integrative biology.


The journal Biosemiotics (Springer) is preparing a special issue on the topic, guest-edited by Luis Emilio Bruni and Franco Giorgi, to be published in 2016. Therefore presenters at the conference are invited to submit full papers to this special issue.

The length of submitted papers is limited to 7.000 words (excluding abstract and references).

Instructions for authors are available here:

Important Dates

Submission deadline: 27 February 2015
Notification of acceptance: 20 March 2015